Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘Terry Gallagher’

A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 4

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 27, 2010

The series continues from:  A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 3.  Posted by Barry Pittard on July 25, 2010.  A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 2. Posted by Barry Pittard on July 23, 2010.  A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 1. Posted by Barry Pittard on July 20, 2010

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In the article: Sathya Sai Baba Organization’s Betrayal of Love and Compassion, I wrote (referring to Terry Gallagher, the first head of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization, who at first hand probed allegations about Sathya Sai Baba’s serial sexual abuse of boys and young men, and consequently resigned):

At length by telephone, he told me that, against extraordinary unwillingness of devotees to look at the allegations,  he had done what he could to investigate and surface the terrible facts about Sai Baba’s serial sexual abuse of young males. He told me that he had extensively shown documentation to Valmai Worthington, a Brisbane leader of the Sathya Sai Organization, who has led many groups to from Australia to see Sai Baba, but this had not led to meaningful action. Other leaders were likewise impervious and went into the utmost psychological denial. Groups, including those with young males in them, continued to go to the ashram.

From October 1999, I made extensive investigations globally, finding much corroboration from families and individual survivors themselves – many of whom did not know each other. Others too, many former followers independently of each other, were making their own investigations. There was no doubting their excellent standing in their professions, trades and wider communities. From about April 1999, an Indian, Hari Sampath, who was at that time working, via a ‘green card’ in the USA, was coordinating a ‘pepper group’ of former devotees. This group was remarkably effective in arousing major media and UNESCO, and other major organs. An individual of great significance from that time and up to the end of 2004 was the late Glen Meloy of the USA. See: Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”) – In Memoriam.

More troubling than anything was the sense of terrible betrayal and heartache in so many individuals and families. This fact of the alienation of many respected, now former, Sai Baba followers is all too well-known to many leaders and increasing numbers within the rank and file of the international Sathya Sai Organization. But, in Orwellian fashion, it has acted virtually as if those many who have left it never existed. And as if those long honored as good were now, almost overnight, bad. See:

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

On Leaving the Sathya Sai Baba Cult – Ex Leaders and Rank-and-File

Story of My Disqualification, and other articles by Serguei Badaev

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

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

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

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

Letter from Stephen Carthew

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

In short, members of the Sathya Sai Organization have typically, grossly and repeatedly:

  • ignored the afflicted individuals and families, and:
  • deliberately hidden vital facts from many rank-and-file devotees

The list of leaders sycophantic to Sathya Sai Baba is long. Briefly suggestive of top leaders who have severely abrogated norms regarding duty of care and transparency a list includes:

Many within the Sathya Sai Organization have frequently wondered why Sathya Sai Baba has appointed certain key leaders in his organization. A common, in-denial, euphuistic cry is:  never mind, Swami has done it to teach us patience and forgiveness and as a test for our sadhana (spiritual discipline). Here are but a few names of those involved in longtime, shameless cover up. Clicking on the links will bring up articles which, in their own turn, contain further recondite links:

John (Jack) Hislop, Michael GoldsteinIndulal Shah, G. Venkataraman, William Harvey, Bob Bozzani, Hal Honig, Jagadeesan, Ashok Bhagani, Thorbjørn Meyer, Steen Piculell, Leonardo Gutter,  T.Sri Ramanathan, Pal Dhall, Bernard Gruber, Pietro Marena,  Jörgen Möllgård, Richard Friedrich, John Behner, Phyllis Kristal

Terry Gallagher wrote:

The purpose of this visit was to find the reason why former students of Sai Baba’s college would want to kill him, particularly when they had been given a free education! The eye witness accounts were horrific! After bursting into the Mandir, four students found themselves trapped upstairs where Sai Baba was staying. Each was interrogated by police, then one at a time they were executed! The stench of death was everywhere. I made further inquiries about Sai Baba having sexual relations with college boys and male students – some of these as young as seven years of age – and whether this was the reason for former students wanting to kill him. I was told, to my horror, that this was an acceptable Indian practice! I felt sick, and just wanted to take my family and leave the ashram and India as quickly as possible. Before we did, we were all called for interview with Sai Baba and we told him what we had experienced and been told. Sai Baba made no comment on our accusations and was only anxious to know who had told us these details, requesting us to tell him several times! Having had dozens of interviews over the years, this was the most stressful and uncomfortable interview our family had ever experienced. Sai Baba was tense and agitated and his body language told us all, that what we had found out about him was the truth! We left the interview and returned to Australia.

Of the mounting allegations of Sathya Sai Baba’s serial sexual abuse of boys and young men, Terry Gallagher wrote:

I made further inquiries about Sai Baba having sexual relations with college boys and male students- some of these as young as seven years of age – and whether this was the reason for former students wanting to kill him. I was told, to my horror, that this was an acceptable Indian practice! I felt sick, and just wanted to take my family and leave the ashram and India as soon as possible. Before we did, we were called for an interview with Sai Baba, and we told him what we had experienced and been told. Sai Baba made no comment on our accusations and was only anxious to know who had told us these details, requesting us to tell him several times! Having had dozens of interviews over the years, this was the most stressful and uncomfortable interview our family had ever experienced.

Sai Baba was tense and agitated, and his body language told us all that what we had found out him was the truth! We left the interview and returned to Australia. The following years were very difficult spiritually; we concentrated on all the positive aspects we had experienced over the past ten years and found this comforting. When we attempted to tell others about our experiences and the truth about Sai Baba, no one would believe us, except those who had also had similar experiences- and mostly fear prevents them from telling others. It has only been in the past twelve months that former students and devotees of Sai Baba have begun communicating with each other, confirming experiences to be true and supporting each other spiritually and emotionally when necessary.

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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

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A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 3

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 25, 2010

The series continues from:

A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 2. Posted by Barry Pittard on July 23, 2010.  A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 1. Posted by Barry Pittard on July 20, 2010

Apart from Terry Gallagher, the other two individuals whose articles appeared in the Nexus magazine also had respected histories as Sathya Sai Baba devotees. One of the articles related the frightening escape experiences of wife and husband Gurprit and Jens Singh (Germany), who sought the assistance of the (then) Federal West German Embassy in New Delhi. I have written of this couple here: ‘BILD’ Story. “Guru Wants Sex” (Sathya Sai Baba).

The other author was Hans de Kraker (Australia). Sathya Sai Baba appointed de Kraker Western Canteen Director, a position he held from 1989 to 1997. Nexus magazine covers many stories which the media has not run or else run extensively. There is sworn testimony in both these cases.

I emailed and spoke by phone with Terry Gallagher, Hans de Kraker  and Jens Sethi, and others in different parts of the world. A group of former followers was able to obtain investigation at a most senior level by UNESCO, the U.S. State Department, Times of London, BBC, and other reputed organs. See also:

The Case of UNESCO’s Missing Media Advisory

U.S. State Department Named Sathya Sai Baba To BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’

Hans de Kraker told me that he took his concerns to the former head of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization, T. Sri Ramanathan (a former commercial judge in Sri Lanka) and another one of the Australian Sai organization’s most prominent leaders, Dr Sara Pavan (who has spent lengthy times living at Puttaparthi, serving as a doctor in Sai Baba’s Superspeciality Hospital and as an anaesthetist at Concord Hospital, Sydney, Australia).

Hans de Kraker said that Ramanathan, who more recently has worked with senior law students at the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales, immediately avoided the issues, and launched into a recital of how Sai Baba had done such wonders. One example was how (not in person) Sai Baba had miraculously recovered a diary. This embarrassingly contained Ramanathan’s law students’ examination details that he had lost in Malaysia in transit to visit Sai Baba. Another story was how Sai Baba had, again miraculously, in  a hotel in Bangalore, made Ramanathan’s non-functioning tape recorder work.

When Ramanathan phoned me – at first to try to use ‘sweetness and light’ and then to make his fruitless threats of litigation against me – he told me these stories as well, and I suppose he has regaled many Sai devotees with them over the years. It seemed like a sort of litany. As long as one keeps rolling the beads, all the misgivings, all the contradictions, all the dark secrets, all the discomfort can be conveniently filtered out.

Hans de Kraker said that Dr Pavan’s response was that one does not talk of these matters (which de Kraker had raised).

This terrible dereliction of duty of care and accountability has been endemic in the international Sathya Sai Organization throughout the world. History can only but be severe in its judgement on it. The organization’s much-vaunted truth, compassion, and right conduct, among the values enshrined in its so-called “all Faiths” edifice, turn out, in this respect to be, to use a Sai Baba phrase, ‘tinsel and trash’. Or Stone pillar. Stone consciences.

Among the many documents that report Sathya Sai Baba’s grossly improper practices is a letter from Hans de Kraker.  It was addressed to David and Faye Bailey, and Faye Bailey’s son. Indeed, her son, too, had been the target of Sathya Sai Baba’s advances, according to testimony. (Apart from other documentations, the present writer had the account from the son’s sister, and both have long enjoyed a close friendship). As indeed has been typical, and constant across many years, in the accounts of so may other males from around the world have reported in their own cases.  Hans de Kraker wrote: 

There was a big power shake up in the kitchen and I had no interest to participate in the whole situation any longer. I had a chat with the leader of the group because I had not been going to darshan anymore. My last day in the ashram I talked to the leader of the group. (Editor, c.f., Veronica, long an organizer of the Western canteens see here).

 

 

Again she insists that I tell her what happened. “So did he try to have sex with you?” was the question. Tired of it all I told her what had happened. This was the evening of the fourth or fifth of January. Immediately after she has an interview with Sai Baba, by herself this time, without the rest of the group. After she comes out of the interview room, several hours later, I am summoned to an elderly gentleman from Security, whom I knew well, with whom I had built a friendship. Several years before, when I accompanied a couple from Europe, who did not speak any English, he had spent time with this couple, their three-year-old son, who had cancer and me. This gentleman looked very awkward and asked me if he could take my photo. I said of course not knowing what was happening, understanding something had gone wrong. He was accompanied by 2 seva dal’s. One them took a picture from the front and then asked me to turn to the side. When I asked my friend what was happening he nodded uncomfortable and said I don’t know.

They then escorted me to the secretary of the Ashram who told me I was ordered to leave as soon as possible. I had behaved improperly and had to leave. When I asked what the reason was he commanded that I was not allowed to ask anything, and that I was only allowed to leave. “You are to leave the Ashram. You are strongly advised not to hang around the village, to go as soon as possible to Bangalore and catch the first flight out…

I left. All my friends of the group were absolutely amazed and destroyed when they heard that I had been expelled. Except for one person…the same person who spoke to Sai Baba a few hours before. So they got rid of a possible “loose cannon”

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For next installment, see:  A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 4

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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

 

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A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 2

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 23, 2010

The series continues from: A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 1. Posted by Barry Pittard on July 20, 2010

In October 1999, I read Terry Gallagher’s startling accounts, and, increasingly those of others. He was the first head of Australian Sathya Sai Organization and an agricultural scientist and businessman of Kiama, New South Wales, Australia. His brother-in-law, Neville Fredericks (a past mayor of Kiama)succeeded T.Sri Ramanathan as head of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization. Following his extensive investigation, Terry Gallagher’s revelations spoke of Sathya Sai Baba having sex with boys and young men, and being complicit in other disturbing crimes. He discovered disturbing facts about the local, state and central government cover up of police killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s bedroom at Puttaparthi on June 6, 1993. He and others in various parts of the world resigned. Many simply left the Sathya Sai Organization, without formal resignation. Sai devotees in centers around the world have heard their leaders state the allegations are made by a handful of disgruntled former devotees. Yet the Sathya Sai Organization holds aloft the value:  Truth …

The Editor of the Australian magazine Nexus (published in a number of countries), Duncan Roads, had found the Gallagher article along with two other accounts of former Sathya Sai Baba devotees on the internet. The Gallagher document was in the form of a letter to David and Faye Bailey. Duncan Roads wrote: 

 I had heard the many rumours about Sai Baba’s sexual impropriety over the years, and like many, dismissed them as disgruntled devotees.  Later on, I actually took those attacks as ‘evidence’ that Sai Baba was growing in influence, and that this was the ‘system’ attacking him … 

Unlike Sai Baba believers, I have an open mind, one which allows me to read and listen to things that Sai Baba believers refuse even to allow into their consciousness.  I read some of the more recent testimonies, and decided to investigate for once and for all to put an end to the rumours …

I ended up speaking to many victims, parents of victims, former Sai Baba centre ‘leaders’ and some respected ‘figureheads’ from the movement.  All confirmed the same pattern of abuse and sexual misconduct …

I did not want to believe any of these testimonies, but I also had to be true to what I was uncovering.  Sai Baba is, and has, been involved in sexual misconduct with boys and young men.  The effects of this misconduct has caused unestimatable damage within many many families, including suicides

Photo below: David and Faye Bailey. Authors of ‘The Findings’. An historic and lengthy indictment of Sathya Sai Baba and his charismatic cult, by two former and exceptionally close disciples.

David and Faye Bailey. Authors of 'The Findings'. An historic and lengthy indictment of Sathya Sai Baba, by two former and very close disciples

See my articles: 

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

Reply to a Sathya Sai Devotee’s Note re: David and Faye Bailey

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For next in series, see:  A Sathya Sai Saga. Barry Pittard Recollects. Part 3

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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

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On Leaving the Sathya Sai Baba Cult (Part 1.)- Ex Leaders and Rank-and-File

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 20, 2009

In 1999, came the publication (August-September) of three articles in a piece entitled: Sathya Sai Baba Exposed. These had been taken up from other sources by the editor, Duncan Roads, who, quite separately and via his own sources in Australia, had suffered his own disillisionment in Sai Baba. A person close to me, who knew well that I had deafened my ears to anything inimical to Sathya Sai Baba, strongly urged me to read these articles, one of which was by the (then) head of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization, Terry Gallagher, an agricultural scientist and businessman of Kyama, in the state of New South Wales on Australia’s eastern seaboard. 

Sathya Sai Organization, Australia, Ex-Head Terry Gallagher’s Testimony Against Sathya Sai Baba

Terry Gallagher.  A Voice of Conscience Raised In The Wilderness

 Terry Gallagher had come to realise – between 1986 and 1993 (the latter being the year of the grisly police executions in Sai Baba’s bedroom) that grave matters had been profoundly covered up, not only by the ashram officials but by local, state and central governments. Those who eventually leave commonly do not leave suddenly. There is a fighting against the blinkers. There is refuge in thought of all the positives that have occured. 

In much detail, by telephone, Terry Gallagher told me that, against extraordinary unwillingness of devotees in the Australian Sathya Sai Organization, to look at the allegations,  he had done what he could to investigate. This led to his surfacing, after his private discussions with those whom he regarded as dependable witnesses, including a number of Sathya Sai Baba college/university students, terrible facts about Sai Baba’s serial sexual abuse of young males. He also took his concerns to Sathya Sai Baba, whom he says tried to get from him who his informants were. He told me that he had extensively, in the course of a whole weekend, shown documentation to Valmai Worthington, a Brisbane leader of the Sathya Sai Organization, who has led many groups to from Australia to see Sai Baba. This led to no meaningful action, and she has continued to lead groups, including those with young males in them. In fact, she led the group of which I was a member when it went to India on mid November 1997.  

Other leaders were likewise impervious and went into the utmost psychological denial. Groups, including those with young males in them, continued to go to the ashram. (See the link at the top of the present article for excerpts from the Terry Gallagher testimony and the link to the full document). These explorations – including direct contact with a number of deeply concerned students from Sai Baba’s education establishment – culminated in Terry Gallager’s resignation on the most serious moral principle from his headship of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization. However, he said, his relations with his brother-in-law, Neville Fredericks, now the head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Australia, had slowly been repaired in both the family and business sense, and he (Gallagher) didn’t want to raise his voice further. NOTE:  For those with limited time, I have excerpted, for the sake of a focus, some points from Terry Gallagher’s testimony, which was first published by David and Faye Bailey (very prominent leaders who also resigned) in The Quarterly, UK.  See also:

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

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

Later the Gallagher testimony appeared in the September-October 1999 edition of the Australian magazine ‘Nexus’. Before returning to Sathya Sai Baba for a few months in November 1997, I had somehow dared to look at writings on the Internet. I read the Canadian academic rationalist philosopher Professor Dale Beyerstein, of the University of British Columbia. His very incisively-written book: “Sai Baba’s miracles: and overview is HERE.  There was the likewise articulate Italian former devotee Paul Holbach.

Across a range of Sai Baba issues, their writing was disciplined and probing; they raised questions which, by any token, deserved proper answers. These were the sorts of questions which, if not answered frankly and truthfully, could best be answered by properly consitituted processes, such as a police, court of law or government enquiry. Above all, they needed to be answered by the leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization. But they were glacially silent. Except to slander and drive out those who questioned, whom they very well know through years of experience of them to be truthful persons. Sathya Sai Baba and his servitors remain tight-lipped to this day, all these years after – although the allegations, not only of sexual abuse but abuses of various other grave kinds. With incredible mendacity, they tell their congregations – inasmuch as they tell them very much at all – that ‘the allegations’ are made by a small handful of disgruntled individuals. It is a typical ploy used by many groups with serious matters to hide.

Hard questions were being raised. It was not enough, as so many devotees do when there is a process of questioning, to assume, somehow, the unworthiness of those who question.  In that direction the psychological factor of being in-denial is all too likely to kick in. Honest questions merit honest answers. During twenty-five years of deep devotion, I underwent many wonderful experiences, but facing the questions was not one of them. As I began to hear the direct testimony, and, in other cases, from parents and close friends of those who had been affected, the experience was gut-wrenching.

Continued in …… 

On Leaving A Powerful Global Cult. Sathya Sai Baba Example (Part 2)

On Leaving A Powerful Global Cult. Sathya Sai Baba Example (Part 3)

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

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

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

Formal statement provided to Exbaba.com by Timothy Conway Ph. D. concerning the Hislop letters

The crucial John Hislop letters, Sathya Sai Baba, & Sathya’s defender Joe Moreno – by Timothy Conway, PhD

An article in which Timothy Conway outlines many key issues

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

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

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

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

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Barry Pittard’s comments in regard to the Public Petition) -:

Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

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

There is a Spanish version available:

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

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

Posted in New Age, Opinion, Protest, Sex, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , | 10 Comments »

Sathya Sai Organization, Australia, Ex-Head Terry Gallagher’s Testimony Against Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 20, 2009

Below follows my excerpt from a witnessing document from the former head of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization, Terry Gallagher. The full document is available here: Terry Gallagher’s Testimony

See also: 

(Excerpts)

 “Upon leaving the interview, I was told by Sai Baba that I should sit on the verandah of the mandir in the future, with students from the colleges and other devotees. As it turned out, this gave me the opportunity to meet people and observe events very closely that I otherwise might not have had the opportunity to do …

… We returned to the ashram again in 1985 for one month; and then in 1986 we stayed for seven months, at which time our daughters attended Sai Baba’s school … 

… I will never forget the look of anguish on Sai Baba’s face when he came onto the verandah of the mandir early one morning and dropped two vibhuti pellets in front of me as he attempted to accept a rose from a college student. There was no vibhuti materialisation during darshan that morning! 

I observed how he transferred these vibhuti pellets from one hand to the other, using the letters he collects from devotees to disguise his movements. In the many interviews that followed, I also observed more than thirty instances of rings, “diamonds”, japamalas, vibhuti containers, etc., all being produced by sleight of hand and deception … 

… Sai Baba made no comment on our accusations and was only anxious to know who had told us these details, requesting us to tell him several times! Having had dozens of interviews over the years, this was the most stressful and uncomfortable interview our family had ever experienced. 

Sai Baba was tense and agitated, and his body language told us all that what we had found out him was the truth! We left the interview and returned to Australia. 

The following years were very difficult spiritually; we concentrated on all the positive aspects we had experienced over the past ten years and found this comforting. 

When we attempted to tell others about our experiences and the truth about SaiBaba, no one would believe us, except those who had also had similar experiences- and mostly fear prevents them from telling others”.

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Further Reading

Sathya Sai Baba Critic Serguei Badaev: An Incisive Voice of Conscience From RussiaThe Late Leo Boogaard: A Dutch Voice of Conscience On Sathya Sai Baba

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

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

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

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

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Barry Pittard’s comments in regard to the Public Petition) -: Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult.

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

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There is a Spanish version available: PETICIÓN PÚBLICA PARA ”INVESTIGACIONES OFICIALES DE SATHYA SAI BABA Y SU ORGANIZACIÓN A NIVEL MUNDIAL

Posted in Opinion, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: | 5 Comments »

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 24, 2009

For several months of each year, the British pianist David Bailey taught music at the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning in Puttaparthi, founded in November 1981,which became the Sri Sathya Sai University. For a number of years, Bailey was in a unique role – a westerner with extraordinary access to Sathya Sai Baba, who also assigned him to envoy duties to a number of countries, which is a role he has assigned to very few, such as Indulal Shah, V.K. Narasimhan, Dr V.K. Gokak, Dr S. Bhagavatham, Dr D.J. Gadhia, Dr Michael Goldstein, J. Jadadeesan, Professor Al Drucker.

David Bailey’s wife, Faye, prior to marrying him, had been prominent in the functions of the Sathya Sai Organization in Australia. Sathya Sai Baba arranged their marriage and officiated at their wedding.

David and Faye Bailey. Authors of 'The Findings'. An historic and lengthy indictment of Sathya Sai Baba, by two former and very close disciples

David and Faye Bailey. Authors of 'The Findings'. An historic and lengthy indictment of Sathya Sai Baba, by two former and very close disciples

Great was their – and indeed the general – surprise at this turn of events, but they,  accepting him as their guru, complied. They are still together. However, having left him after boys from the college and also troubled devotees from around the world came to them with harrowing accounts of sexual abuse of boys and young men, and other forms of abuse, they eventually found the pressure of speaking out to be too much to bear (It is not, a small few of us note, one of the world’s magnetic attractions) . They did not, though, vacate the critical scene before having written a long document, entitled ‘The Findings’ (click on title, below).

Shortly, I intend to  blog further on the matter, referring to the account of the U.S. author and journalist, Michelle Goldberg.

For more regarding the Terry Gallagher who is mentioned in ‘The Findings’, see HERE. He was the former head of the Sathya Sai Organization, who resigned after strenuously investigating the allegations of Sathya Sai Baba’s sexual molestation of boys and young men, and confronting Sai Baba himself.

Excerpt from:

The Findings by David and Faye Bailey, U.K.

“I had to find someone who had had the same level of experience as I had.

I began to look for Terry Gallagher, an Australian whom, I heard, had been close to Swami before my time. Terry had been Central Coordinator for the Sai organisation in Australia for three years, and had been given very preferential treatment from Sai Baba for a number of years. I traced him to Kiama in New South Wales, Australia.

I knew he had left the ashram vowing never to return, and I wanted to know why? I soon found out. Terry had discovered the unmentionable inner workings of Sai Baba as I had now done. Exactly the same… but more. Terry left, never to return after the assassination attempt by ex-students in 1993. I wanted to know what Terry knew. I soon did”.

………………………………………………….

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (With Barry Pittard’s comments)

(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)


Posted in Opinion, Religion, Sex, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on September 13, 2009

The article quoted below, in which Jens Sethi , a former devotee, recounts being sexually abused by Sathya Sai Baba, is from the magazine ‘BILD’ of Munich on 21 August, 2000. Wikipedia states that ‘BILD’ is “the best-selling newspaper in Europe and has the sixth-largest circulation worldwide”.

About a year earlier, NEXUS Magazine (Australia), August-September 1999, featured three articles on Sathya Sai Baba, containing serious allegations. One of these was the testimony of a German husband and wife, Jens and Gurprit Sethi who had been devotees, but had left him.The other articles were the testimony of Terry Gallagher (who, on principle, had resigned as head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Australia) and Hans de Kraker, also Australia, who had reported his own experiences of Sathya Sai Baba sexual abuse, and had likewise resigned his roles having further investigated allegations of Sathya Sai Baba’s serial sexual abuse of boys and young men. Kraker was, for a number of years, head of the Western Canteen at Puttaparthi, See here) . Kraker’s account can be seen at:

A searing testimonial about Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by robertpriddy on August 30, 2009.

Until the NEXUS article, mentioned below, I had dismissed for many years as absurd no fewer than nine accounts of sexual abuse by Sai Baba, five of which I had heard between 1978 and 1982, and two shortly before I read the NEXUS articles, the rest between 1997 and 2000. I must say, though, it was a relief when leading sources such as India Today, The BBC, UNESCO, The Times of London, The Telegraph, The Guardian, BT, The Age, The Australian Financial Times, Vancouver Sun, Ottawa Citizen Gatopado , UNESCO, some academic institutions such as Flinders University, Australia and others, not known for sensationalism, took our team and witnesses seriously. Even the like of these have been attacked by an unscrupulous zealot who is known to be assisted by those long and strongly associated with Sathya Sai Baba. See: Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba. Media Source List

Posted by Barry Pittard on October 23, 2007Sethi-Munich

BILD (Wolfgang Ranft) interview on Sathya Sai Baba

Translation of text:-

RESIDENT FROM MUNICH RAN AWAY FROM INDIA –  GURU ALL OF A SUDDEN WANTS SEX

By Wolfgang Ranft

MUNICH – Jens Sethi was young, naive, full of religious expectations. In 1988 this resident from Munich who worked that time in a printing office travelled to India the land of the Hindu Gurus. The 24-year-old man was looking for new spiritual fulfillment. He found, what he was looking for. Sethi succumbed to the fascination of a Guru who was already 62-years old that time: Sathya Sai Baba. “I was totally fascinated by the Aura of Sai Baba”, he says today. “I surrendered in a way that I was mainly concentrating on him.” Every year he travelled together with his wife for four or six weeks to the Ashram of Sai Baba. During the festival time more than 20 000 devotees gather there.

The fascination remained for Sethi just an external moment as he never could approach the Guru during the first years. This happened only in October 1996 when Sethi finally decided to go to India where he settled down in Puttaparthi close to the Ashram. During the daily pilgrim-meeting he was called for an interview by the Guru, the utmost a pilgrim can expect within the Ashram. Sethi enjoyed his good luck. He, one of those rare devotees, who has been personally selected by the Guru.

But the conversation took a different course than he expected. Sethi appeared together with his wife. The Guru was outraged and has sent the woman away. Alone in the room the old man started to kiss the man from Munich, stroke him and went into the trousers. Shocked but still full of faith and naivety Sethi accepted two other meetings some month later. Again the Guru kissed him and finally touched his genitals.

Only then the young man ran away back to Germany. It took him three years to overcome the crisis and to separate himself mentally from his spiritual guide. During that time he did investigations in the internet and came to know about other young men from UK, Sweden, USA who underwent a fate of similar experiences.

Only this summer he did the final step to escape from the spell under the Guru: He brought a charge against Sathya Sai Baba at the public prosecutor´s office in Munich – because of sexual molestation.

———————————————————–

Related References

In its cover story on the allegations, the mass distribution, multi language edition magazine ‘India Today’ (4 December 2000) stated:

“In Australia too, The Sunday Age carried an article on Baba’s sexual abuse. In Munich, Germany, Jens Sethi, a former devotee who claims he was molested, has filed a complaint in the public prosecutor’s office. In Sweden, the central Sai group has closed down and so too has a school based on programmes devised by educationists at the Baba ashram in Puttaparthi …

JENS SETHI is a German settled in Munich. He was a Sai Baba devotee for 10 years. His charges were published for the first time by the Focus magazine on September 18.

Allegations (as sent in a signed affidavit to INDIA TODAY): “In the private chamber, Baba said ‘Come,’ and kissed me on my lips for a long time. I resisted and he gurgled, ‘Have no fear. This is a good opportunity, so many are waiting for months and will not get.’ He asked me to remove my trousers, unzipped my fly and went with his right hand into my underpants. Baba massaged the genitals unasked. He expected some erection but this did not happen for I didn’t feel any sexual excitement. I also didn’t come for such games to Puttaparthi. I was really disgusted. Baba was disappointed and had the impudence to say, ‘It is very weak, don’t waste energy.’ When I looked at him, I realised the truth about him. He had such an evil vibration that moment. Soon, he sent me out of the room without saying a word.”

STATUS: Sethi recently filed a complaint with the public prosecutor in Munich. The Sai Baba Ashram has no comment on the allegations”.

———————————————————

General

Excerpt From Public Petition (With Barry Pittard’s comments)

(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)


Posted in Morality, Opinion, Protest, Religion, Sai Baba, Scandal, Sex, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on August 20, 2009

Long before worldwide allegations of Sathya Sai Baba’s serial sexual abuse of boys and young men began to surface in earnest – circa AD 2000 – notable individuals shocked by signs of cover up – started to analyze situations, and leave the Sathya Sai Baba camp. For an example of early investigators, see the article (I include it below) by Warren C. Pyke LLN (Hons.) LLM (VUW), Barrister, New Zealand 3-3-1993: Sathya Sai Baba Murders Evidence (A New Zealand Barrister Analyses Police Evidence).

Another earlier investigator of various serious allegations against Sathya Sai Baba was Terry Gallagher, an agricultural scientist and businessman who, in consequence of his findings, resigned as head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Australia. See: 

Terry Gallagher’s Testimony

I have recently blogged on an outspoken, retired senior Indian policeman,V. J. Ram, whose work as a detective won him a Presidential Medal.

V.J.Ram. Senior Indian Policeman. Presidential Award Recipient

Ram refers to appalling instances of the Sathya Sai Baba official ashram and Indian government cover up of the killings. See:

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

See, too, testimony to the BBC of former Home Secretary of Andhra Pradesh (Sathya Sai Baba’s State in South India):

Film Clip of V.P.B. Nair making his statement

Quote:

Tanya Datta (BBC): Velayudhan Nair rejects the police version of events. He should know. Until two thousand and two he was Home Secretary of Andhra Pradesh and in charge of the state police. On coming to office he examined the files and found that the original police report was riddled with lies and inconsistencies. This was later exposed by a CID investigation.
VPB Nair: Two or three daggers cannot be a match to roaring guns. So this story of the police being attacked and the police shooting in self-defence is totally baseless.
Tanya Datta: So are you suggesting that the police executed the boys that night?

VPB Nair: In absolute… this is absolute cold-blooded murder.

Serious Issues Raised By New Zealand Lawyer

Document by:  Warren C. Pyke LLN (Hons.) LLM (VUW), Barrister, New Zealand 3-3-1993.

I COMMENT ON THE Remand Report of the Superintendent of Police, CID Cuddapah. Assuming that his findings have not been materially contradicted, which is the position as I understand it, his report clearly calls for a thorough and impartial inquiry into the deaths in Sai Baba’s room. Any one of the following grounds would be sufficient in my opinion, but combined the case for such an inquiry is overwhelming.

a) The contradictory eye-witness evidence of V. Jagadish, contradictory that is to the local Police Officer’s statements – the fact that he observed the broken door before the police arrived and was possibly the last independent witness to speak to the deceased makes his evidence significant and most material;

b) The contradictory eye-witness evidence of D. Peddireddy, contradictory that is to the local Police Officer’s statements – he says that he broke the wooden plank that was holding the door and saw the deceased in the room after he did so, once again this is most significant material and corroborates the evidence of Jagadish;

c) The absence of injury to the CI and the nature of the minor injuries to the other Police Constables is inconsistent with their story of a struggle and their need to open fire, but is not inconsistent (I deliberately use a double negative here) with the account of Jagadish and Peddireddy;

d) The position of the deceased after death is inconsistent with the Police version but consistent with them still being in the room after the door was broken, as observed by Jagadish and Peddireddy;

e) The nature of the gunshot wounds to the deceased are entirely inconsistent with the Police Officer’s claim of self-defence but are entirely consistent with a very close range discharge;

f) The fact that the bodies were moved is sufficient to warrant an inquiry as this clearly shows that the crime scene was deliberately altered after the fact;

g) The absence of possession by the deceased of the alleged knives after death strongly suggests that they posed no threat to the Officers, although it cannot be ruled out that the knives were dropped in the alleged melee;

h) The evidence about when the shots were heard: independent and reputable witnesses, Balachandra, Sahani, Vatsava all say 1 a.m., which is consistent with the post mortem report as to time of death; this contradicts the Police evidence by a full 1 ½ hours (11.30 p.m. cf 1 a.m.): this cannot be explained by any suggested error in the post mortem;

i) The number of rounds discharged and the position of the bullets after firing show that some firing was not directed at a specific target. Given the police assertion of self-defence which, if believed, would suggest that the firing would have been carefully aimed so as to avoid shooting their fellow officers (given the confined space), the Police evidence as to the nature of their firing is incredible.

Given the matters outlined in the Remand Report, the failure to further investigate and prosecute the Police Officers involved is a shame and a disgrace to the law enforcement body responsible and to the judiciary who have consistently failed to intervene. No self-respecting and principled law enforcement body or judicial system would tolerate such a situation. In the case of multiple murders, there can be no justification for ignoring.

Warren C. Pyke, (4th Floor, NZI Building, Garden Place, Hamilton, New Zealand).

It is most instructive to read these questionings of the New Zealand lawyer alongside details in the retired senior Indian policeman V.J.Ram’s revelations of years later. These suggest but a little of the huge corruption in which Sathya Sai Baba and his key servitors have for so long been involved:

Excerpt from 'The Godmen of India', 2005.Excerpt from ‘The Godmen of India’, 2005

Further Reading

The Unresolved, Covered-Up 1993 Murders in Sathya Sai Baba’s Bedroom Revisited. By Robert Priddy – founder member & office-bearer Oslo Centre 1983, Chairman from 1987 while acting national contact-person of the Sathya Sai Organisation, Norway 1987-2000

Indian Newspaper Reports of Killings In Sai Baba’s Bedroom

Attempts – all to no avail (and with no written or spoken response back to us) – were made by a representative international former devotee group (JuST) to obtain reasonable answers from Sathya Sai Baba’s peak organizational body. See here:

Open letter to the Prashanthi Council – Michael Goldstein, G. Venkataraman

Formal Appeal to the Prashanthi Council


Posted in Opinion, Religion, Skeptics, South Asia, Spirituality, World Religions | Tagged: , , , | 9 Comments »

Sathya Sai Baba Organization’s Betrayal of Love and Compassion

Posted by Barry Pittard on March 20, 2009

Many Sathya Sai Baba devotees have betrayed their memories and allowed to be constantly set upon, vilified, demeaned, defamed and libeled those whom they had so long loved, honored and worked side-by-side with.

Factors which prevent a wider former devotee visibility on the Internet or in the law courts include the following:

  • Wanting to “move on”
  • Preservation of business, family or professional relationships.  A prominent example of this is the case of the former head of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization, Terry Gallagher, an agriculturalist and businessman of News South Wales, Australia.  At length by telephone, he told me that, against extraordinary unwillingness of devotees to look at the allegations,  he had done what he could to investigate and surface the terrible facts about Sai Baba’s serial sexual abuse of young males. He told me that he had extensively shown documentation to Valmai Worthington, a Brisbane leader of the Sathya Sai Organization, who has led many groups to from Australia to see Sai Baba, but this had not led to meaningful action. Other leaders were likewise impervious and went into the utmost psychological denial. Groups, including those with young males in them, continued to go to the ashram. (See below excerpts from the Terry Gallagher testimony and the link to the full document).These explorations – including direct contact with a number of deeply concerned students from Sai Baba’s education establishment – culminated in Terry Gallager’s resignation on the most serious moral principle from his headship of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization. However, he said, his relations with his brother-in-law, Neville Fredericks, now the head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Australia, had slowly been repaired in both the family and business sense, and he (Gallagher) didn’t want to raise his voice further. NOTE:  For those with limited time, I have excerpted, for the sake of a focus, some points from Terry Gallagher’s testimony, which was first published by David and Faye Bailey (very prominent leaders who also resigned) in The Quarterly, UK. Later it appeared in the September-October 1999 edition of the Australian magazine ‘Nexus’ when the editor, Duncan Roads, became, as he has accounted, disillusioned with Sathya Sai Baba, having heard from a number of other alternate and firm sources with similar accounts.
  • Fear of being publicly attacked and ridiculed. See also:  Cultic Depersonalization or Demonization of Dissenters
  • Fear of being harassed and shunned in their own communities
  • Because advised by those at the sharp end, even when they were willing to testify, unless they were very well prepared psychologically not to submit themselves to the fanatical depradations of those Sai Baba people who make threats of law (see HERE and HERE and HERE) against former devotees and the media;  use Sai Baba devotees to spy and report on former devotees; direct and serious sabotage against former devotees in business, work and place of study; etc.; manipulation of Internet technicalities in an attempt to silence critics; and so on …

                        …………………………………………………….

Terry Gallagher’s Testimony

(Excerpts)

Upon leaving the interview, I was told by Sai Baba that I should sit on the verandah of the mandir in the future, with students from the colleges and other devotees. As it turned out, this gave me the opportunity to meet people and observe events very closely that I otherwise might not have had the opportunity to do …

… We returned to the ashram again in 1985 for one month; and then in 1986 we stayed for seven months, at which time our daughters attended Sai Baba’s school …

… I will never forget the look of anguish on Sai Baba’s face when he came onto the verandah of the mandir early one morning and dropped two vibhuti pellets in front of me as he attempted to accept a rose from a college student. There was no vibhuti materialisation during darshan that morning!

I observed how he transferred these vibhuti pellets from one hand to the other, using the letters he collects from devotees to disguise his movements. In the many interviews that followed, I also observed more than thirty instances of rings, “diamonds”, japamalas, vibhuti containers, etc., all being produced by sleight of hand and deception …

… Sai Baba made no comment on our accusations and was only anxious to know who had told us these details, requesting us to tell him several times! Having had dozens of interviews over the years, this was the most stressful and uncomfortable interview our family had ever experienced.

Sai Baba was tense and agitated, and his body language told us all that what we had found out him was the truth! We left the interview and returned to Australia.

The following years were very difficult spiritually; we concentrated on all the positive aspects we had experienced over the past ten years and found this comforting.

When we attempted to tell others about our experiences and the truth about SaiBaba, no one would believe us, except those who had also had similar experiences- and mostly fear prevents them from telling others.

………………………………………………………

Confirmation of Terry Gallagher’s Observations of Long Ago. Selection from a larger database of film clips.

Terry Gallagher’s growing cognition – between 1986 and 1993 (the years of the grisly police executions in Sai Baba’s bedroom) that something was seriously amiss is suggestive of three points that are not appreciated by all minds: 

The first is that, under sway of powerful belief, rational or conscientious promptings are ignored.

The second, that the time taken for the psychological masking rationalisations can persist for years. The ‘something’ unsettled, the nagging doubts are replaced by focusing on all the non-conflictive preoccupations. There have been Sathya Sai Baba apologists and attackers who wish to bypass such considerations. They drive questions such as: why didn’t the person act on their observations earlier? They scorn individuals who undergo conditions that we are all too humanly prey to. Still more, they embody the very psychological principle of being in-denial that I have just referred to!

The third point is that film clips whose links are below, will allow the viewer a sort of Gallagher’s-eye-view which that early whistle-blower experienced in those years before, and indeed took on a lot of pain for himself when he investigated and shared with others.

……………………………………………………………………………………………………..

Posted in Morality, New Age, Opinion, Religion, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , | 12 Comments »

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on April 4, 2007

Note: For enquiries, enter contact details in the Comment section. These will be treated with the same confidentiality and professionalism we have long observed in our dealing with e.g., UNESCO, governments, Interpol, media and religious and secular institutions, and other such serious inquirers. 

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.

linghodhbhavam2004_0001.jpgSai Baba pretends to vomit up pure gold Siva Lingam. A few minutes later, he tells his vast audience, “Out of the stomach emanated Shiva Lingas of the weight  of three tonnes.  That’s the reason why some strain on  the face and the body”. See: BBC Cameras Catch Sai Baba Cheating With Gold Sivalingam. (Film Clip)

nullJust one of Sai Baba grandiose show pieces, the Super Speciality Hospital at Puttaparthi, South India

The Secret Swami reveals much, but viewers may wish also to investigate much of what, for constraints of time, it omits.

police-shootings-sai-babas-bedroom.jpgV.P.B. Nair, former Home Secretary in Sai Baba’s State of Andhra Pradesh at the time of the killings, is seen in the BBC television documentary on Sai Baba, The Secret Swami, (2004), where he says that the police killings were “cold-blooded murder”.  Nair seeks to reopen the case of the June 6, 1993 four police killings in Sai Baba’s bedroom. Many Indian police, politicians, journalists and other investigators know that the profound cover-up involved Sai Baba, his officials and Local, State and Central Indian governments. See my article:

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

See below,the BBC’s The Secret Swami transcript excerpt containing V.P.B. Nair’s testimony.

The Secret Swami confines itself to four areas:

  • Accusations down many years of Sai Baba’s sexual molestation of young males.
  • His implication in police executions in his private quarters on June 6, 1993.
  • Cover-up by him and the leadership of his worldwide organization, and as well as by successive Indian governments, of major criminal allegations.
  • His faking of miracles.

BBC producer Eamon Hardy and his team’s view is that serious questions are raised about India’s political maturity.

Focus on One Family Obscures Vast Extent of Allegations

Ashram scenes cut to northern Arkansas in America’s Midwest. Former devotees, Al and Marisa Rahm and their 20-year-old son Alaya show the BBC interviewer Tanya Datta around sturdy commune buildings that the Rahms established in the 1980’s as a model Sai Baba commune, with school, resident teachers, study groups, congregational singing… Much of the documentary’s credibility will stand or fall on how viewers evaluate this family. Certainly, the device of interweaving a family’s story with wider events touches the emotions. Although I think viewers will have a strong sense of the Rahm family’s integrity, the technique has a downside. It obscures the fact that allegations against Sathya Sai Baba come from many individuals and grieving families around the world. In fact, the BBC, as has been the case with national governments and police forces, was granted access to many testimonies.

It is, by the way, indicative of the desperation and dishonesty of pro Sathya Sai Baba protagonists who edit the Wikipedia article on him attempt to keep the BBC references out of it. Brian Steel and Robert Priddy state their names, but these individuals hide behind pseudonyms.

Focusing on one family meant no examination of anything like the full extent of the allegations. It also meant no examination of the multiple billions (that’s a ‘b’ not an ‘m’) that pour into the Sathya Sai Central Trust coffers from all over the world, or of financial scams by his administration (e.g., the selling of apartments which are sometimes later taken away from the paid up owners), which devotees blindly accept, as “tests of faith”. It meant no examination of Tony Blair’s suppression by over fifty British parliamentarians to raise Sai Baba-related issues in the House of Commons.  This was at a time when Blair wanted to placate the then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee so as to win a contract for 66 jet fighters for India. The urgency to win the deal was bi-partisan. For further information, see my article, ‘Flag Follows Trade. Abetting Indian Government Corruption’:

Governments Placate India

Further, it meant no examination of the failure of governments – particularly of Britain, Canada, Australia and Germany – to match the US State Department’s naming of Sai Baba as the subject of a Travel Advisory – weakly citing that there are no court convictions of Sathya Sai Baba in India. If the State Department can name Sai Baba why cannot they? (As of May 25, 2004, the State Department D has dedicated an American Citizen’s Services Unit special line in Washington – 202 647-6179 – via which they will confirm that Sathya Sai Baba is the individual referred to in their Consular Information Sheet, November 23, 2001. There was no examination of former Indian Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee’s leaning on Tony Blair about Sai Baba when Blair vied for a highly lucrative sale to India of Hawke class fighter planes. The programme mentions the Vajpayee letter which states that allegations against Sai Baba are “wild, reckless and concocted” but not that it was published at the time of Vajpayee’s visit to Tony Blair.

Other documentaries will need to look at the supposedly miraculously materialized jewelry which independent international assayers like the Queen of Denmark’s crown jeweler attest are faked:

There are allegations of Sai Baba’s failed promises to cure people of cancers and other terrible diseases; the tragedy of sick people of many countries desperately visiting him in hope of a cure; the targeting of the weak and vulnerable for their money by an organisation that, while saying that it does not ask for money, uses indirect approaches to raise it.

Supposedly God, Sai Baba Woos Heads of State and other Big Players

Head of Sai Baba’s world organization, Dr Michael Goldstein, of Covina California, tells the BBC interviewer,

“We believe that Sri Sathya Sai Baba is Jesus Christ. Sri Sathya Sai Baba is Buddha. Sri Sathya Sai Baba is the founder of all of the world’s religions. Sri Sathya Sai Baba has always been God.”

Dr Goldstein here reveals the true beliefs and agenda which his worldwide organization has long studiously kept hidden from the wider public, especially when it tries to enlist religious, political, educational and business leaders in its social projects. (The organization succeeded in getting the British Queen to visit a Sai School at Harrow but the programme omits this telling detail!) However, the work of former devotee and other exposé activists will now be much easier, for they will be able to send DVDs and CDs to those governments, leaders and institutions which the Sathya Sai Organization reportedly tries to woo, including the Palace and the White House.

BBC Evicted From Puttaparthi For Asking About Allegations

This organization’s reputation has been badly damaged by quarter of a decade of intense campaigns of exposure by globally organized former devotees, and even longer by Rationalists and Humanists. BBC producers say that Sai Baba’s top leaders at first thought the documentary would present a ‘positive image’ of their guru and the works of his organization to the world. Hence the rare permission for the BBC to shoot at Sai Baba’s ashram. The Puttaparthi authorities extended guided tours to the BBC by Central Trust Secretary K. Chakravarthy and other leading officials, including Dr Goldstein, never before granted to a television corporation. However, a few days later, when the BBC asked for a comment on the worldwide allegations, the ashram authorities ordered them to leave, and Dr Goldstein sent a prompt global instruction to all Sai Baba centres that no-one must cooperate with the BBC. No doubt the exposure by Denmark’s national broadcaster in its 2003 documentary Seduced (renamed Seduced By Sai Baba in the English language version by Australia’s national multicultural broadcaster SBS), seen by millions in Denmark, Norway and Australia – when the top Sai leaders in Denmark and Australia made unavailing threats of legal action – must still have haunted their minds.

Sai Baba’s Power Isn’t Flower Power

Establishing footage from the 1960s shows the hunger in the West for Hindu Indian gurus by hippies and such cultural icons as the Beatles at that time. This true but superficial view is one of a few blemishes in The Secret Swami. There were many other kinds of spiritual seekers, and Sai Baba’s middle class devotees infinitely outnumber those of alternative lifestyle. The view may be correct for Marisa Rahm, once caught up in the 60’s alternative scene, but wrong for her husband Al Rahm. He considered himself a yogi, who engaged in serious spiritual practices such as meditation. There is a tradition of western aspirant yogis long before the 60’s.

Showing three zealous western devotees eccentrically rhapsodizing about Sai Baba fails to indicate his appeal to people of many cultures and socio-economic backgrounds. Filming eccentrics detracts from the serious purpose seen elsewhere in the documentary. It obscures the interest he has evoked in figures of great power (e.g., Bill and Hillary Clinton (more particularly Hillary), Al Gore, Mikhail and the late Raisa Gorbachev (a reliable friend of mine told me that Mrs Gorbachev told her that Gorbachev had a book of discourses by Sai Baba as his bedside reading). The sheer penetration of Sai Baba’s influence is of real concern. For Isaac Tigrett, multi-millionaire American backer of Sathya Sai Baba, the hippy origin is correct. All glassy-eyed, perhaps still a hippy at heart, a Peter Pan-like Tigrett tells Tanya Datta,

“India’s so unique, it’s so incredible. If there’s a spiritual train then India is the engine. All this mysticism, all the strangeness that surrounds Sai Baba and all that stuff, this is the perfect home for it.”

We glimpse one of Sathya Sai Baba’s water projects. The BBC got led to the showpiece village near Puttaparthi. But it would have needed to investigate harder, for the various water and other projects are the subject of many allegations of fraud on a grand scale, including incredible wastage of resources and inefficiency. This same water system supplies the ashram, which depends on big overseas donors. But there are claims that the overall project failed to deliver due to an unexpected fall in the water table, and that this was covered up by the Sai Baba’s Central Trust.  See article by Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard, ‘Sathya Sai Organization Untruths, Disinformation and Subterfuge’:

One learns that The U.S. minerals magnate James Sinclair got upset when Sathya Sai Baba officials announced sums of money that he had donated, so it is likely that his continuing donations are now not being disclosed. However, we know that he twice donated U.S. 600 million dollars. I shall have to see whether I can check the figure but I think Sinclair further donated $100 million for Sai Baba’s first water project, a sum announced by Indulal Shah (then head of the Sathya Sai Organization) at Sathya Sai Baba’s 70th birthday celebrations, when Shah listed every donor to the Water Project who had given at least one crore. U.S. devotee friends who knew Sinclair and his wife said that Sinclair was very shocked that his name would brought out. On Indulal Shah, see: Indulal Shah and Indian Government Cover Up and,‘God’s’ Ex-Shah, Indulal Shah

Foreign Goose Lays Multi-billion Dollar Eggs For Sai Baba

Showing his worthy causes might allow the BBC to appear balanced, but it ignores considerable allegations of fraud, and complaints by village elders that the Sathya Sai water project authorities have left a trail of broken promises. Sai Baba’s state of Andhra Pradesh has long been one of India’s poorest. The Secret Swami reports that Sai Baba “cuts through the red tape” to provide water to poor villages via a costly pipeline. But the documentary misses a perfect opportunity to suggest a major reason why successive Indian governments and opposition parties have covered for him. Yes, he (or rather his organization) accomplishes what they fail to provide, but with billions of overseas dollars! Would many Indian politicians, notorious for their extreme corruption, dare expose the foreign goose that lays the (cosmic!) golden egg? Driving this question would have reinforced the documentary’s fundamental query about whether India is a mature democracy.

We see the hospital by English architect Keith Critchlow for Sai Baba (a long-time conduit to Prince Charles). Largely funded by Isaac Tigrett and inaugurated in 1991, this hi-tech heart and kidney hospital even out-dazzles the many-splendoured architecture of the ashram. BBC cameras miss the names of other big donors, overseas and Indian, which are on a Roll of Honour in the hospital portico. Indeed, The Secret Swami fails to mention the billions that pour into the Sai coffers from various countries such as Australia, Canada, Hong Kong (indeed, the Chinese diaspora), Germany, Indonesia, Japan, UK, USA … Like the American James Sinclair (who often works from Canada), the precious metals speculator, alone has donated several hundreds of millions of dollars).

BBC’s Tanya Datta asks: ‘Is Sai Baba Above The Law?’

Lovely architecture. But the moral interior? Similar to others from around the world, Alaya Rahm speaks of Sai Baba genitally oiling him, kissing him heavily on the mouth, giving and receiving oral sex, trying to penetrate him anally, mixing lavish gifts of money and jewelry with dire threats – e.g., to cut his penis off, and forbid interviews to his family – to ensure his silence. That these patterns recur in so many other victim reports is crucial, but the BBC fails to highlight this fact.

Alaya says he was afraid to tell his parents of his sexual molestation in almost all of his many private interviews. At one point his father asked him whether he had received the oiling experience. Yes, the son replied, but how did his father know? He answers that he himself received this treatment when he first visited Sathya Sai Baba at 18 years old, who told him it was “a ritual healing process.” Why did not the BBC challenge leaders about the oiling experiences? The moment Eamon Hardy raised questions about allegations, that was it – the BBC was promptly told to leave the ashram. Other journalists have found the same cover-up. Some Sai Baba leaders at least do admit the ‘oiling’ allegations – but only under strictest professional guidelines are doctors (and Sai Baba is not one!) permitted to touch the genitals of minors or adults. Tanya Datta’s question to Dr Goldstein in another regard obtains here, too: Is Sai Baba above the law?

Oiling Penises Not A Hindu Ritual. (Nor Of Other World Faiths – And Non Faiths)

Could oral sex by a guru be a secret Tantric ritual? Khushwant Singh (strangely the BBC describes this most famous of Indian social commentators merely as a ‘Writer’) says,

“There’s no Indian tradition to support the fact that, you know, worship of the Lingam includes also doing the blow job, if that is what you are referring to. I don’t think there’s any basis for that whatsoever”.

A noted Hindu scholar’s response would have carried more weight here. Or even a BBC text or voiceover citing response by Hindu authorities. Any religious leaders would be most remiss if they shirk issues like this. Clarity about allegations of Sai Baba’s ejaculation into victims’ mouths would have questioned the absurdity voiced by many Sai Baba devotees (such as long-time devotee Ram Das Awle in his Internet writings) that Sai Baba touches young males sexually only to assist their mental health or raise the Kundalini energy.

Basava Premanand, the celebrated Rationalist and ‘guru buster,’ – see my appreciation of him at the time of his death: Basava Premanand. Vale. A fighter for truth who lived what others preach.  Posted by Barry Pittard on October 6, 2009 reports investigating Sathya Sai Baba since 1968, first “as a hobby” then going public in 1976. He is seen showing the trick behind Sai Baba’s so-called ‘miraculous’ production of the golden lingam (of which more below). Professor Narendra Nayak, his fellow Rationalist, demonstrates how, by sleight-of-hand, magicians perform the same ‘miracles’ as Sai Baba – e.g. materializing ash, rings, pendants, etc. To convince the most critical, the BBC needed demonstrations as sophisticated as those in the Danish documentary Seduced (a copy of which the BBC possessed) where the Danish magician Nils Krøjgaard exposes the deceptions involved. Narendra Nayak shows Tanya Datta, who realizes that it takes practice, how to secrete a vibhuti (sacred ash) pellet between the thumb and base of the forefinger. Nayak says that Sai Baba’s rotations of the hand when producing the ash is the method used by all ‘godmen’ who ‘materialize’ this ash, and obscures the act of crumbling the pellet. (Various people, such as the former leader of the Australian Sai Organization, Terry Gallagher, a scientist and businessman, have reported seeing Sai Baba inadvertently drop these pellets. See Terry Gallagher’s testimony and my article ‘Police Killings in Sai Baba’s Bedroom at Puttaparthi’).

On stage before February 2004’s Mahasivaratri crowd, the BBC cameras show Sai Baba looking increasingly sick. He produces the lingam, and the materialization trick demonstrated by Nayak is easy for the viewer to spot, the lingam being concealed in Sai Baba’s handkerchief. Tanya Datta comments:

“To the alarm of the crowd suddenly Sai Baba collapsed. His huge coterie of staff swung into action. There was panic. An organisation used to tight control seemed to have lost its grip. Sai Baba was hastily wheeled off stage.” Later, he is carried hobbling back, with officials claiming that he manifested two more lingams offstage. To the audience a shaken Sai Baba makes an inane claim “Out of the stomach emanated Shiva Lingas of the weight of three tonnes. That’s the reason why some strain on the face and the body.”

Top Indian Minister Shows Ugly Face of Indian Government Sai Baba Patronage

Confronted by Tanya Datta, Murali Manohar Joshi, one of the most powerful ministers in the since-defeated Vajpayee government, soon loses his temper, jabbing away with pointed finger at Ms Datta, accusing the BBC and people in England of plotting against Sai Baba, A.B. Vajpayee and P.N. Bhagawati (a key Central Trust member and former Chief Justice of India). He arrogantly shouts at her,

“No, no, no… You don’t know the meaning of interviewing a minister in my capacity, as a minister of my stature.”

Her vulnerability in the face of an arch bully is touching, and she shows some courage but tough interviewers would not have put up with his evasiveness. Surely, it would have been better had Ms Datta not tried to defend the BBC and herself but rather firmly stated the worldwide nature of the serious evidence that keeps on coming. At least, Joshi’s arrogant evasion of the BBC’s totally fair question about Indian Government accountability was unmasked for the world to see.

Sai Baba “Wanted My Son”

There is historic footage of the Rahms’ popular song and story telling appearances on the major US Sai circuit and of Sai Baba’s special attention to them. Marisa Rahm says, “it was just like the trip to Disneyland with God. I mean we were just really ecstatic with joy at getting this attention and this limelight.” However, concerned about their son’s troubled behaviour, Alaya’s parents confront him, and he reveals countless occasions of sexual abuse, saying that he was afraid that if he had told them he would be left “alone in the world.” Marisa weeps, saying “he (Sai Baba) didn’t care about me; he wanted my son.”

When the Rahms took their story to Dr Goldstein, in September 1999, they say that he was shocked and shaken, saying, “Faith has got to be restored and words will not be enough.” Goldstein promised to speak to Sai Baba and pledged the Rahms to secrecy until he did. He reported back that Sai Baba replied, “Swami is pure” and “If you want to fight with people in the gutter, you also have to go into the gutter. Don’t.” But are the Rahms gutter people?! Were they fighting? For years, they were dear favourites of Sai Baba and he showered presents on them. We see a box full of them, including fake jewelry, and Al Rahm calls it a “box of bribes.”

Dr Goldstein Tells BBC “I am what I am – a consummate professional”

So repeatedly evasive was Michael Goldstein that the BBC team gained permission from BBC heads and legals to film him with hidden cameras. The BBC cleverly gets him to admit the correctness of the Rahms’ report of his words. Unlike his archangelic namesake and just like Joshi, his finger repeatedly jabs at Tanya Datta as he snarls, blusters and fulminates. Seemingly in need of a child’s first dictionary, Dr Goldstein hurls the questions, “Transparency in what sense?” and “What do you mean by thorough investigation”? He says that his “heart and his conscience” know that the allegations of sexual molestation could not be true. But what about the heart and conscience of families and individuals around the world who give accounts of Sathya Sai Baba’s tragic harming of their boy children? Goldstein says that he would be able to tell at sight whether young men had been sexually molested or not. Doctor Goldstein is a medical doctor, and does not rate alongside sexual abuse experts who work full-time in the area. Sexual abuse experts are in touch with Sai Baba’s young accusers (and also abuse accounts going back many years) and are satisfied they are telling the truth. He shouts “I would know it in my heart because I am what I am – a consummate professional. Can you understand that?” This is the world head of Sai Baba’s supposedly divine organization that claims Sai Baba, as full embodiment of God, will save the world within his lifetime!

The Secret Swami shows footage, taken by Sai Baba’s official videographer, James Redmond, which shows that, directly after he had asked Sai Baba about the Rahm allegations, Goldstein is made Chief Guest and before a vast audience is praised by Sai Baba as a “great man,” “Goldstein has all good qualities in him,” etc. We see Goldstein being strongly moved by Sai Baba’s flattery. Al Rahm says, “Michael came up to James and said; ‘I want a copy of that video, it’s the peak of my life.’ And I remember thinking; he’s being played.”

The documentary could have raised the question: Why is it that the Rahms and many others, for so long highly regarded in the Sai Baba community, as soon as they try to tell their experiences, are reviled by both guru and many devotees as ‘demons,’ ‘Judases’, ‘slanderers’, ….? Typically, cults do this to those who question or dissent.

“He Could Go Out And Murder” Says Billionaire backer, Isaac Tigrett

Having failed with Goldstein, Al Rahm turns to Isaac Tigrett. Unlike other Sai leaders, the latter comes across as compassionate but his unusual and repeated laughter suggests his ultimate denial of feeling that needs to translate to humane action. Tanya Datta says,

“But even if it was proven to you that Sai Baba was a paedophile and a serial sex abuser, you’re saying it wouldn’t change the fact that he is your guru.”

Isaac Tigrett says,

“He could go out and murder someone tomorrow.”

Tanya Datta probes,

“Does that mean that some part of you believes there could be some truth to the rumours?” Tigrett replies,

“Oh, absolutely I believe there is truth to the rumours.”

But the practical effect – which is that he does nothing to advocate a hearing for Sai Baba’s accusers – is the same as if he did not believe in their truth! This immensely wealthy man, who walks with some of the most powerful leaders in the world, like Al Gore, blocks the chance of marginalized victims to effectively tell their stories. Clearly, his self-perceived spiritual development is all that matters. He may provide palatial buildings for Sai Baba but what about rebuilding broken people, and perhaps saving still others from coming to grief in the secret chamber of the ‘secret swami?

“Absolutely Cold-blooded Murder”

Former Home Secretary of Sai Baba’s state Andhra Pradesh, V.P.B. Nair, tells the BBC cameras that the police killings in Sai Baba’s private quarters in June 1993 were “absolutely cold-blooded murder,” and that CID investigations, which were suppressed, showed many lies and cover-ups. He is seeking to re-open the case. Here is what Nair had to tell the BBC:

Tanya Datta
Sex abuse is not the only controversy tainting the God man’s reputation. On a June night back in nineteen ninety-three, four devotees broke into Sai Baba’s quarters. They were armed with knives.
Their motives are unclear. All four were close to Sai Baba. Some say they wanted to warn him about corruption in the Ashram. Others claim their intention was to kidnap or even kill Sai Baba. As they approached they were stopped by four of Sai Baba’s attendants. In the struggle that followed two of his attendants were killed and the other two badly injured. Hearing the commotion Sai Baba escaped through a back stairway and raised the alarm. Heavily armed police
arrived on the scene.
VPB Nair

So these boys, they ran and locked themselves up in a room. And then in the whole, all around a lot of pandemonium and people gathered so the boys were shivering like rats in that small hole.
Tanya Datta
The four men barricaded themselves into Sai Baba’s bedroom. There was a stand-off with the police. Then the order was given to go in.
Tanya Datta
What happened next is hotly disputed. The official
version seemed clear.
VPB Nair
These four boys charged towards the police with the knives and started stabbing the inspector and other personnel. Because they were attacked they opened fire.
Tanya Datta
In self-defence?
VPB Nair
In self-defence. They opened fire and killed all the four boys. This the police story.
Tanya Datta
Velayudhan Nair rejects the police version of events. He should know. Until two thousand and two he was Home Secretary of Andhra Pradesh and in charge of the state police. On coming to office he examined the files and found that the original police report was riddled with lies and inconsistencies. This was later exposed by a CID investigation.
VPB Nair
Two or three daggers cannot be a match to roaring guns. So this story of the police being attacked and the police shooting in self-defence is totally baseless.
Tanya Datta
So are you suggesting that the police executed the boys
that night?
VPB Nair
In absolute, this is absolute cold-blooded murder.
Tanya Datta
Some police officers were arrested but never charged. The case was eventually dropped. Sai Baba has always had a close relationship with the police. Even today, senior officers are special guests at the Ashram. With friends in such high places Sai Baba seems to be untouchable. Any attempt to investigate the goings-on at his Ashram even, murder, appear doomed to failure.  Critics say police connections ensured that Sai Baba wasn’t even interviewed, despite being one of the witnesses to the events of that night.

We see the President of India Dr A. P. J. Abdul Kalam and Manmohan Singh (now India’s Prime Minister) visiting Sai Baba on his birthday. The ‘secret swami’ does not have to go to Indian Presidents, Prime Ministers and other power brokers on all sides of politics. They go to him!

Room For Many More Documentaries

In exposing a dangerous and influential cult, The Secret Swami is plucky and perceptive. Canada’s national broadcaster CBC was waylaid by hundreds of phone calls and emails by Sai Baba devotees, both before and after the screenings of the documentary in Canada. The program host said on air “We stand by the professionalism of our BBC colleagues”. History will expose the devotees but the BBC team needed an intellectually more penetrating analysis, and to raise sharper, more focused questions. The documentary brilliantly suggests that the leaders are into heavy cover-up and denial, but strangely didn’t say how widespread and long-standing the paedophile allegations are. The sham ‘miracles were’ somewhat exposed but there do exist more difficult-to-explain Sai Baba-related phenomena than this (e.g., the apparent appearance of many miracles in devotee homes and centres in many countries), which would require rigorous investigation, because the recipients cannot sensibly be accused of shamming. Of course, not everything packs into an hour-long documentary. Let us trust that the BBC will use its more than 80 hours of footage to expose some of many other issues.

Rating: three and a half out of five.

Further Resources

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

Right Hand. Sleight Hand. Watch Sai Baba Cheat With Sacred Ash (Film clip)

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

BBC and Other Film Footage Shows India’s Top Guru Sathya Sai Baba Faking Miracles

BBC Footage Exposes Fake Sathya Sai Baba Miracle « Call For Media and Government Investigation

Sathya Sai Baba Chief, Dr Goldstein, Explodes. “I am the consummate professional” (See Film Clips)

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)

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

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

Sathya Sai Baba Cult Exposure By Major TV Channel In Australia « Call For Media and Government Investigation

Further Reading

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

Posted in New Age, Opinion, Protest, Rationalism, Religion, Skeptics, Spirituality, Theology, Theosophy, Uncategorized, World Issues, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 78 Comments »

Sathya Sai Baba’s Deputy Head, Dr G. Venkataraman, Speaks of “Mr Idi Amin”

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 30, 2007

Idi Amin A Gentleman?

Reporting on Sathya Sai Baba’s – so-called ‘Christmas discourse’ of December, 2006, Dr G. Venkataraman, second-in-command of his worldwide organisation, refers to one of the world’s most gruesome men, the heartless African dictator, as “Mr Idi Amin”.

At this URL, Dr G. Venkataraman speaks of how thrilling was Sai Baba’s account in this ‘Christmas’ 2006 discourse of his 1968 visit to Uganda! But oh, what an inspiring figure was Idi Amin to refer to in a Christmas message! In case G. Venkataraman or anyone badly informed of Idi Amin’s evil deeds and regime, here and here are BBC reports at the time of his death in August 2003 and a list of resources.

This strange Sai Baba ‘Christmas’! discourse can be found here. In it, Sai Baba speaks as though the meeting with Idi Amin, one of the world’s worst dictators, torturers and murderers, was a moving, warm and delightful event. Sai Baba has said that, in his own lifetime, he will clean up his “own backyard” (India). Unfit and pathetically doddering (though he promised he would never after 60), he has abjectly failed to do that, just as he certainly didn’t clean up Idi Amin or Amin’s Uganda in which this monster – for all his weeping devotion to Sai Baba – slaughtered an estimated 400, 000 people.

Happy to refer to the raping, cannibalistic Idi Amin as ‘Mr’, G. Venkataraman is also happy, elsewhere, to label Sai Baba dissenters as akin to the demon in the Krishna story called Jarasanda. He adds: “it was finally left to the hefty Pandava Bhima, to tear Jarasanda to pieces, literally”. Indeed, should former devotees prefer to be left to a tearing-to-pieces by the likes of Idi Amin, who delighted in feeding enemies to crocodiles, or of G. Venkataraman with his gleeful wish-list for the fate of those who question his ‘God’.

Or Is Dr Venkataraman Stupendously Naive?

We should consider that despite his words about Sai Baba’s visit to Uganda, it may be that G. Venkataraman, when not slavishly “thrilled” by his God’s more ratty – perhaps age-induced – effusions, is incredibly naive rather than that he would approve of a wife-refrigerating, raping, mass-murdering, torturing monster who, though in a far smaller killing field, was in a number of ways akin to Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot and so on. Is Dr G. Venkataraman so ill-informed about world events that he assumes Amin really was a marvellous devotee, as would many readers of Sai Baba’s discourse? Is Venkataraman equally naive as not to know what is common knowledge among VIPs and many ashram residents – that is, the dark truth of the allegations against Sai Baba?

G. Venkataraman was also the Vice-Chancellor of Baba’s University at Puttaparthi and, given his high-profile international role, he certainly has a duty to non-defensively, properly investigate the status of the allegations, as do all leaders of responsible organizations.

Would Sorely Afflicted Students and Ex-Students Trust Ex-VC Venkataraman? He speaks of how no students have reported abuses to him. This looks very like a digression to avoid admitting what he must know about the matter, But why would they dare want to tell him, given his slavish utter loyalty to Sai Baba? Students were murdered in Sai Baba’s bedroom! But what good would it do for Venkataraman to ask his Lord and Master about such circumstances?

However, parents and students-ex students are not so quiet when it comes to sharing with religious and other institutional heads in India their horror stories of abuse at the hands of Sai Baba and others around him. Let readers enquire of senior leaders of noted religious organizations in India which, over the years, have been a compassionate haven for those with accounts of abuse by Sai Baba. Of course, yet again, this information (still protecting the identities of those attesting individuals) we are prepared to share, and have long shared, with bona fide third-party investigators.

In fact, we know that a weighty number of Sai Baba’s servitors know perfectly well of the countless credible evidences that men and women in many countries have tried to get the Sathya Sai Organization to heed. In short, to act responsibly in response to the reports that he has a long history of serial sex with underage males, and other young males, not to mention other crimes and betrayals. Such truth-telling would include admission that, for example, there was a massive cover-up by the Puttaparthi ashram authorities along with local, state and central governments of the police killings in Sai Baba’s bedroom on June 6, 1993. However, such Soviet-style, cultic lack of transparency and accountability, no matter that the allegations keep on coming year after year, have driven former devotees to go to great labors in producing documentation of their shocking revelations to the Internet, governments, Interpol, FBI, various police forces (who have their hands tied, unfortunately because India will not act), UNESCO, and the world media. Most of the Indian media has a terrible record of shame in not investigating Sai Baba and his core leaders. The shame reflects all the more badly in that leading foreign media have faced the task. See my article below: “Will India’s New Backlash Against Corruption Lash Sathya Sai Baba?”

The German Ullrich Zimmermann’s account of Sai Baba’s demands to suck his penis when Zimmerman was called into private interview was released only weeks ago. However, the interviews he gave (of which the report of fellatio is part 2) which he gave to the US television interviewer Alan Steinfeld were made in 2000 but released only weeks ago. His account is but the latest in a long series of compelling accounts that have been given of severe sexual inappropriateness, including felatio, by Sai Baba:
http://blip.tv/file/127606. (Part 2 of 3 parts). For a highly useful summary with some added links, see Robert Priddy’s page here.
Note: Some have had trouble with accessing the blip.tv. location for the interview. Here is an contingency, alternative cache at Exbaba.com:

G. Venkataraman’s “Mr Idi Amin” Report
“The moment of moments came when Swami stood up to give His divine discourse. Swami thrilled one and all with memories of His Divine tour to Africa, namely Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. Swami related how Mr. Idi Amin was very fond of Him and used to have the darshan of Swami both in the morning and evening. During His stay, he arranged a dinner for Swami and meticulously got all instructions from Dr. Patel as to Swami’s menu and how it should be prepared. On the day of the dinner, Idi Amin’s wives stood in rows on either side and greeted Swami with veneration. Idi Amin himself introduced each of them one by one to Swami.

On the day Swami was to leave, which happened to be Guru Purnima day, Idi Amin was suffering from pangs of separation and started shedding tears pleading with Swami not to leave them.

Not only did Amin but the Africans were all in tears and fell at the feet of Swami praying:

“Bhagavan! Please spend this day with us.” Their devotion melted the heart of Swami and made Him spend Guru Purnima with them. An important miracle happened on this day. The Africans had wished to take photos with Swami.Swami told them that they might silently pray in their heart so that their requests may be fulfilled. To their joy, each of them found a photo of Swami lying beside them”.

Is Idi Amin, no doubt from some lower depth, still weeping for Sai Baba’s company?

How to Leave the Christ out of Christmas, 2000
G. Venkataraman’s 2006 report is entitled “Swami’s Divine Christmas Discourse”, yet one notes how Idi Amin manages to push aside the spirit of the Christmas celebrations. This reminds how in his Christmas discourse, December 25, 2000, Sai Baba pushed Christianity’s founder almost entirely out of the way, instead denouncing those who have criticised Sai Baba. The Times of India ran the headline: “Sai Baba Lashes Out At His Detractors”. For the ToI reporter B.S. Rao’s news report, see:
http://home.hetnet.nl/~ex-baba/
engels/shortnews/detractors.html

Why Did Sai Baba Keep Thumping The Tub?
Few can surely forget how Sai Baba kept on pounding his lectern. This outburst effectively coincided with a time of concentrated activity by organised former devotees worldwide, in leading venues such as:

India Today – rare section of the Indian media that refused to shut up about Sathya Sai Baba). Its cover story was read by millions, of the same month as the ‘divine’ outburst, December 4, 2000:
www.india-today.com/itoday/20001204/cover.shtml
The Telegraph (UK), Saturday, October 28, 2000. Leading journalist and acclaimed author Mick Brown flew to the USA to interview the Rahm family and other important witnesses:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/main.jhtml?xml=/health/
2000/10/28/tlbaba28.xml

The Ottawa Citizen, , Bob Harvey, December 19, 2000:

http://www.saiguru.net/
english/media/011219ottawa.htm

Trouw, (the Netherlands), Koert van der Velde, September 6, 2000. (See link here).
NEXUS Magazine (Australia), August-September 1999, featured three articles by: Terry Gallagher, Hans de Kraker, also Australia, for a number of years head of the Western Canteen at Puttaparthi, and Jens and Gurprit Sethi, Germany. (See link here)
Note: Jens Sethi and Hans de Kraker,among others in various countries, have provided sworn statements. I have a number of affidavits in safe-keeping at a central location obtainable by our lawyers, ready in the case of a substantive legal turning-of-the-tide. (The producer Øjvind Kyroe, with Denmark’s national broadcaster responsible for ‘Seduced’, has 10 affidavits and the BBC – ‘The Secret Swami’ – can attest to having a plethora of well-validated documentation and 80 plus hours of footage from various countries. Other major media and agencies like UNESCO and the US State Department and UK, German, French, Swedish, Danish and Australian governments and various police agencies, likewise).

Also there were many efforts – the earliest around late 1999 and early 2000 – by Sai devotees most of whom had been devotees for years. Their aim was to get leaders such as Dr John Hislop, Dr Michael Goldstein, Dr John Evans, Dr William Harvey, Robert Bozzani, Richard Bayer, and others, to exercise due diligence, duty-of-care, and proper investigation of the many allegations, particularly concerning those of sexual abuse of male minors by Sai Baba. So that there can be no mistake how long back these efforts go, I note some of these early attempts below. On the other hand, Sai Baba apologists defame and sometimes outrightly libel, one after the other, former devotees who attempt the extremely arduous job of exposing the facts. Venkataraman and other Sai Baba apologists falsely claim that we are but a small handful of those who are “disgruntled”, passed over or ignored by Sai Baba, etc. Indeed, many Sai devotees who were for so long associated with those who have left know the absolute untruth of this sort of statement. This is one reason why former devotees seek third-party investigation.

Sathya Sai Baba’s discourse on Christmas Day 2000 far from celebrated Christmas themes, such as wishing ‘peace and goodwill to all men.’ The Times of India, December 26, 2000 headlined: Sai Baba Lashes Out at His Detractors. He called his dissenters “cawing crows”, “demons”, “grievous sinners”, and thousands of “Judases.” He extensively boasted his social works (actually, they are overwhelmingly those of his devotees, many of whom do wonderful social uplift work in Sai Baba’s name). Jealousy and receipt of money motivated critics, he said. Identifying his own person as God, Sai Baba promised critics a terrible future, saying “Betrayal of God is the worst of all betrayals. It will not be atoned no matter how many births are experienced!”

Throughout the discourse, there was no hint of his practising what he has so often preached: “We should help even those who have harmed us. This is the vow of Sai. No matter if some people criticise or ridicule Me (sic), I will always look at them with kindness.” (Sanathana Sarathi, June 2002). Not that we have harmed him, for he has harmed himself by refusing to face the allegations in a mature, responsible way. Nothing suggested forgiveness, whether Christ-like or in the spirit (in essence the same) of any other tradition of humanity’s great spiritual teachers.

Not All Devotees May Concur with the “Mr Idi Amin” Usage
I am reminded of a medical doctor I fondly knew, a Sai Baba devotee, who told me of his narrow escape from Idi Amin’s executioners. A grateful patient of his was a Secretary in Idi Amin’s secret service. She saw his name on an Amin death list and it was arranged for him to escape through the forest and across the border, with his wife and family being stealthed out separately. No doubt this man and his family are but an example out of a great many Sai devotees who would gain no pleasure from seeing G. Venkataraman refer to Idi Amin as ‘Mr’.

Apologists point to how Sai Baba advised Indian Ugandans to get out of Uganda. Curiously, his Christmas 2006 effusions state nothing of this warning. Nor has this ever been properly documented. What we do know is that, despite Idi Amin’s and his entourage’s copious tears for Sai Baba, Amin later threw every single ethnic Indian out of Uganda on the shortest possible notice, depriving them of all their property and goods, even though many were born there and had lived their whole lives as Ugandans. Perhaps in his dotage – increasing reports of which have been too difficult for his managers to suppress – Sai Baba he has forgotten the dark side.

Who Is Dr G. Venkataraman?
Dr G. Venkataraman is the highest-ranking Sathya Sai Baba official who denounces former devotees who have, particularly since 1999, levelled allegations against Sai Baba. He is head of Radio Sai International (which transmits to many countries) and the Deputy Chairman of Sai Baba’s world governing body, the ‘Prashanthi Council’. In his writings at the Radio Sai website, he has (see here) defamed and denigrated good and decent former devotees, who are in excellent standing in their communities, and who come from a wide variety of ages, educational, professional and cultural backgrounds. From G. Venkataraman and fellow leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization, there is not a word, and certainly not to their congregations either, about the worthy provenance of the many responsibly-made concerns worldwide. G. Venkataraman has also written that media that has investigated Sai Baba and interviewed former devotees – like the India Today, BBC, Times of London, Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, Salon.com, The Age, and others around the world – have, in reporting critically on Sai Baba, failed to exercise standards proper to professional journalism.

Little Wonder Sai Baba’s Christmas Day 2000 Outburst and Lectern Thumping
What was happening in Sai Baba’s life at this time?

The Oregon Sai Center in 2000 (signed by around 75 members) called for an open discussion about the case of yet another boy with an account of being sexually molested by Sai Baba:
http://home.hetnet.nl/~ex-baba/engels/witnesses/ella.html

Gypsie Chapotin, of California, but often living in India, spoke out far and loud, and made known to the United States leaders and rank-and-file, speaking of her son Neptune’s extensive sexual abuse by Sai Baba. Neptune’s diaries, written at age of fifteen, describe gross sexual liberties taken on him by Sai Baba. She believed that Bob Bozzani would act with clarity and honesty, just as did Glen Meloy who she asked to write to him, but her hopes were badly dashed. Her son was, is, an exceptionally gifted individual, fluent in a number of European and Indian languages, including Sanskrit, an outstanding artist and tabla player and bhajan singer. This diary is available in .PDF format at: http://home.hetnet.nl/~ex-baba/engels/witnesses/boy.html

Shirley Pike, former president of the North Central Region of the Sathya Sai Baba Organization of the United States, a highly-qualified school psychologist who had personal interaction with a number of those alleging sexual, abuse at the hands of Sai Baba, including Neptune and Alaya Rahm, and
Angela Cuneo (a Las Angeles businesswoman) and other respected members of the Sathya Sai Organization mass-mailed hundreds of letters to members of the organization calling for proper resolution of the issues. Mrs Pike’s resignation letter is at:
http://home.hetnet.nl/~ex-baba/engels/letters/pike.html

Diana Scott (formerly known as Diana Payne when married to Terry Payne) wrote to Dr John Hislop with allegations that her son, Terry Jnr, for a time a student at Sai Baba’s college at Whitefield, had been sexually abused by him. See:


http://home.hetnet.nl/
~ex_baba/engels/articles/hislop/hislop.html


http://www.saibabaexpose.com/conways.htm

Mrs Ella Evers states: “I wrote the following letter to Dr. Michael Goldstein and nine important other officers in the United States”: http://saiguru.net/english/sai_org/05officersknow.htm

The late Glen Meloy, a retired business consultant, was an historic figure, both as a devotee of 26 years and a foundation member of the worldwide former devotee network from about April 1999. Glen, my much-loved and close associate in the attempt to bring the facts to international attention had close ties with Elsie and Walter Cowan and other seminal leaders of what became the Sathya Sai Society of America or the Sathya Sai Organization. He wrote to his long time friend, Bob Bozzani (now at the top of the US organization) which is copied at:
http://home.hetnet.nl/~ex-baba/engels/witnesses/meloy.html

Hari Sampath, who claimed to have worked with Sai Baba’s security and intelligence apparatus between 1992 and 1995, wrote a lengthy, widely-circulated exposé piece about the high command of Sai Baba’s outfit, entitled ‘How It Works’. For a time, he and Glen Meloy mutually coordinated international former devotee activities, including high-level contact with governments and various agencies and the media. He returned to his native India from the USA, where he had held a Green Card work permit to work as a software engineer. ‘How It Works’ is at:
http://home.hetnet.nl/~ex-baba/engels/witnesses/hari.html

Terry Gallagher, former head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Australia made extensive investigations, and also confronted Sai Baba. Ironically, Terry’s brother-in-law, Neville Fredericks, is now the Australian head, but Terry wishes to keep silence these days, like Stephen Carthew (q.v.) to preserve family harmony. Terry’s account is at:
http://home.hetnet.nl/~ex-baba/engels/witnesses/terry.html

Stephen Carthew, in the closing months of 1999, then a popular spiritual coordinator in South Australia (now doing a PH.D in Communications attempted to bring the issues of duty-of-care and transparency to the Australian Sathya Sai Organization. For his pains, he was summarily cast out by T.Sri Ramanathan, the then head, widely known by Sai devotees themselves to be a bullying autocrat: http://home.hetnet.nl/~ex-baba/engels/letters/carthew.html

This was against the background of Sai Baba’s world-renowned servitors’ Faye and David Bailey in their major and lengthy statement of exposure, ‘The Findings’ and major revelations within Swedish movement when top officials DID compassionately listen to a young man’s testimonies (and soon those of others):
http://www.npi-news.dk/page152.htm

Conny Larsson, who had been the head of the Swedish Sathya Sai Organization, apparently a longer-term lover of Sathya Sai Baba, and Britt Marie Andén (known and loved by many devotees from around the world as Bi-ma) and other key Swedish members supported their afflicted males youths and disclosed facts that resulted in the demise of the virtual disappearance of the Sathya Sai Organization in Sweden. As well as co-heading the Swedish organization, she developed and ran the important Gimle School. Her moving letter to Shirley Pike is at:
http://home.hetnet.nl/~ex-baba/engels/letters/anden.html

Strong investigative activities and support of those most affected also occurred in Holland, leading large numbers to leave the organization, and exodus that was beginning to happen in a number of countries.

A list of ex-office bearers compiled from a variety of sources by Robert Priddy of those who exited the Sathya Sai Organization, many at the time leading up to Sai Baba’s name-calling, lecturn thumping episode is at:
http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/10/EX-OFFICE%20BEARERS.htm

In short, Sai Baba was receiving a real thumping in the months leading up to his highly un-Christmas-like ‘Christmas’ discourse. So he thumped! – repeatedly striking his lectern.

For Online Viewing and/or Dowloading

Resources

The Secret Swami (BBC Television) Broadband 154 MB

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

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General

Excerpt From Public Petition

(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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