In 1999, the extensive document ‘The Findings‘ by David and Faye Bailey appeared. This document caused enormous damage to Sathya Sai Baba’s credibility and that of his worldwide Sathya Sai Organization.
Here was the case where persons previously very close indeed to Sathya Sai Baba spoke out, and in no uncertain terms. Faye had been a noted leader in the Australian Sathya Sai Organization well before the guru, much to the astonishment of them both, chose them to be husband and wife, and presided over their wedding.
The British journalist and author Mick Brown in his widely-researched article (including traveling to the USA) ‘Divine Downfall’ in one of Britain’s foremost daily newspapers, The Telegraph, 27 October 2000, wrote:
“In recent months, an extraordinary storm of allegations have appeared – spurred by a document called The Findings, compiled by an English former devotee named David Bailey – which threaten to shake the very foundations of Sai Baba’s holy empire. Sai Baba may represent an ancient tradition of belief, but the instrument of accusation against him is an altogether modern one. Originally published in document form, The Findings quickly found its way on to the internet, where it has become the catalyst for a raging cyberspace debate about whether Sai Baba is truly divine or, as one disenchanted former devotee describes him, ‘a dangerous paedophile’.
It is one of the many imponderables of this story that the charges against Sai Baba should have begun with a rotund and jocular concert pianist from Llandudno.
David Bailey became a devotee of Sai Baba in 1994, at the age of 40, drawn by an interest in the guru’s reputation as a spiritual healer. ‘I couldn’t see him as a God,’ says Bailey, ‘but I did think, this could be a great holy man who has certain gifts.’
An extrovert man, Bailey quickly became a ubiquitous and popular figure among devotees. He travelled all over the world, speaking and performing at meetings and would visit the ashram in India three or four times a year, often performing during darshan and teaching music to students at the Sathya Sai Baba College. Over the course of four years Bailey claims to have had more than 100 interviews with Baba. At Baba’s instigation, Bailey married a fellow devotee, and together they edited a magazine to propagate Sai Baba’s teachings. But the closer he came to Sai Baba, Bailey told me, the more his doubts multiplied”.
In their speaking out about the untold corruption they and others had uncovered, and the consequent great shock and sense of spiritual betrayal, the unique role in the organization of the Baileys stood in marked contrast to the situation in which increasing numbers of individuals and/or their families began to relate their harrowing accounts.
In 2000, after we had communicated via email, David phoned me and we spoke for about an hour. Both of us had taught within Sathya Sai Baba’s education establishment, he in Music and I in English, although at different periods.
Like Thomas Wiehe (see below), I preferred to allow David to do most of the talking. As I was to find repeatedly in my contacts with former leading and rank-and-file members of the Sathya Sai Organization, who came from many countries, there was a palpable sense – especially in the phone contacts – of an urgency somehow, against formidable odds, to put matters as right as they might ever be put.
Faye Bailey had a son from a former marriage, who reported to Faye her husband that Sai Baba had repeatedly, alone in an inner room, kissed him on his cheeks and the corners of his mouth, and also sexually touched him. The account further details that, once the young man refused to acquiesce, Sai Baba, in the presence of Faye and the young man at succeeding interviews, called him “Mad dog! Hard hearted!”.
I spoke, face-to-face and at some length, with one who has for many years been exceptionally close to Faye Bailey’s son, who compellingly shared saddening disclosures with me. Hearing such deeply disturbing accounts has been the lot of many former devotees around the world, who have made their own investigations, particularly in their own localities where individuals. In my investigations, and those of others, one was struck by stark fact: a great many of those giving the accounts had never met each other. Details were highly cross-confirmed.
Worldwide, former devotees are ready to testify to reputed media, law courts, police and other bona fide investigators. This readiness to be accountable is precisely what the Sathya Sai Organization has so singularly failed to be.
Below, see the Transcript of David Bailey’s conversation with Thomas Wiehe circa 1999 when the allegations were surfacing at an enormous rate, much owing to principled stands by prominent figures such as the Baileys and the former head of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization, Terry Gallagher . See:
Thomas Wiehe of Sweden initiated the phone call to David Bailey in the UK. Wiehe had been leading meditation groups for the Sathya Sai Organization in Sweden. He was now in a dilemma whether to proceed further. In regard to B. Premanand, see the article: Basava Premanand. Vale. A fighter for truth who lived what others preach
Posted by Barry Pittard on October 6, 2009
David Bailey: Premanand was very close to Swami before Terry Gallagher. Terry Gallagher was an Australian who spent five, six, seven years – and a (whole) day – with Swami. He was closer than I was with Swami. Then when he left, through having found out the truth of what is going on, I somehow became so close to Swami that for three years I was blind to what was going on… because I had been told what everybody else had been told. And then after our marriage we became even closer and became part of what it termed the inner circle. And when we saw for ourselves what was going on and realised what other people who had been close also had experienced and why they had left, then when we did our world tour last year, it was disastrous … with so many things that we found. We went back at Christmas to discover that everything that we had found was totally true; as soon as we got back to England, we had the fraud squad from Scotland Yard, the British Government’s Foreign Office and the Charity Commissioners waiting for us with major investigations, with proven fraud in some cases
Thomas Wiehe: What is that?
David Bailey: Fraud is mishandling of money – and the other thing which we had discovered was this homosexual activity. You know, to start off with we believed (it) was only Swami – shall we say – raising the kundalini within the student. This is what we were told, but then when we realised that it was not… and it was definitely not just Swami – well I have to be open and honest – playing with the students… but asking the student to actually make sexual acts on Swami, including oral sex. It was just ridiculous. And then the students at the college turned to me for help, because this has been going on for years, it is why the assassination attempts occurred… because the students were absolutely sick of him making them do things they didn’t want to do. I am grown up in my attitudes and realistic to realise that around the world many things happen between consenting adults, but when you are in a position of power as headmaster or teacher or guru or whatever you like… to make your students do things they do not wish to do is not acceptable, and also in England – and I believe it is true in Sweden – it is illegal. And if Swami were in England he would be put in prison for twenty years.. .Now that is my problem because at one of England’s top preparatory schools for children from five to thirteen years old, the Royal family sent their children to this school… and I was suddenly made redundant. I lost my job and they asked me to continue with my job part-time only to teach in the classroom – no work in the evenings… even we had performed one musical and they said you may not attend the rehearsals, you can only attend the performance
Thomas Wiehe: This questions your connections with Baba?
David Bailey: This I did not understand… T
homas Wiehe: But now you…?
David Bailey: But now I do. Because he is listed as a pedophile and around the world, I was seen – with Faye – to be going round speaking for Swami. From the police, from the authorities from many countries… they saw David and Faye – and other people too – going to speak for Swami. As a result families would go out to Swami… sons, the young men would be sexually approached and come back, there is even one person in England who has committed suicide and we have stopped another one, we pray, from doing so. But we were seen as agents… that we would be very charming, very nice, persuade people to go – because of my involvement with the college boys so closely they thought that I was just a provider of his sex toys. That has now ruined my career in England because I now have a record of being connected with him. Then of course there is the money side of things – as we spoke, people of course wanted to give money. When they investigated the truth of the hospital, the truth of the water project, the truth of where the money goes – and I have personally investigated first hand – that the water project is not finished, there are many villages without water – not even connected. The hospital is very badly run and it is just not what we are told at all. Now people do not want to hear this, but this is the truth. This is why Faye and I have moved away. He knows that he will be caught out. The rings are all bought from Hyderabad and locally in the village, the vibuthi he carries between his fingers in tablets… I’ve seen it, he dropped a tablet in front of me. It is all an illusion, it is all a hoax, it is all one big trick, and so many of us innocent people have been hoodwinked. Faye and I, with our books, we have removed them from sale wherever we can, because we cannot allow anybody else to go and get involved because of us. We also respect that many people do good, but it is now time in my view for people to do good because of good, not because of his name. It is a terrible situation – Magnus [editor’s note: Magnus Vrethammar, former leader of national Sathya Sai education and a Sathya Sai Centre in Sweden] was in tears yesterday. When I started to find this out eighteen months ago I had nobody to share this with and I certainly cried myself to sleep for several weeks. When I spoke to the very close people – I have some very good friends there who know exactly what’s going on – when you get to the inner circle it is a business, that’s all they’re interested in really, but people like Phyllis Krystal, people like Mike Hollander, who have been there for many years, they just turn round and they say ‘If you consider he is God, he can do anything. He can have fraud, sex, drugs… anything. If you do not consider he is God, then of course you have a problem, because of the laws of your land, your morality, your own upbringing and your own standards. And they say this is your problem to sort out, you must decide that he is God. I said this is crazy, the one that creates this beautiful world that we live in, does not come to this earth and do these ridiculous things. There is NO record in Prashanthi of him doing any healing at all. Any healing that has happened within people has been an internal personal thing, but there are very, very few serious records of this anyway. The problem with the incidents that have been reported before is that either the young men have been so threatened that they have said ‘I’m sorry, I made a mistake’
Thomas Wiehe: Who has threatened them?
David Bailey: Indulal Shah, for example, the organisation, the coordinators. The pressure from people who have been ‘besotted’, people who are so sincere devotees of Sai Baba? They will not accept that he could do anything like this, and they have pressurised the young men to say ‘Oh I’m sorry… I made this up.’ There is a video which Magnus has got which has been done a year ago that has just been broadcast two weeks ago on Irish television, done by a television company from Switzerland, Germany, Italy and Ireland, who have got together because they are so horrified with what’s going on that they have produced this documentary for about nearly one hour – not being unkind but just to say these are the facts this is what you will find, and it has been very, very well put together and what is on that video I have firsthand experience of, and it is true. It’s very sad, but we have to be serious detectives. Wanting the truth. I think the first thing that made me question was when there was a question of going there and because I have played for the Royal family several times I know that what happened with the detectives that go – you know – to check everything out first. And Prince Charles had written to me about the possibility of going one day and I suddenly thought: what questions will they ask me, what answers can I give them. And I suddenly realised that I was living in a dream world, not in the real world. That’s when I started to want the real answers, like, what actually happens at the hospital. Not just ‘Oh, this is a beautiful hospital. What happens! How many operations are done? What are the operations? Are all the wards open? The seven hundred and fifty villages… how many villages have now water? And not just ‘isn’t this a lovely project. Isn’t it good and feel good for being involved’. But what is the truth, and when you start finding the truth, you start thinking ‘Oh! No! Oh! NO!’
Thomas Wiehe: What did you find about the hospital? I know that Steen Picullell – the coordinator for the Russian-speaking countries – he is going to speak to Indulal Shah [Editor’s note: Shah was at that time the head of the Sathya Sai Organization] and to Swami in about a week’s time because he has had many problems, but still believes that Swami is God and God can do anything. But this is not something that is in the real world. Before I found Swami I had many, many experiences of people who could heal, people who were psychic, which could see the future and I have experiences of roses – the flowers – just appearing on the table in front of me. So these things were not something that were new to me. I accepted all of this and this is not something to base somebody’s divinity on. So what do you base it on? because over the centuries the stories have never been like this, and it is only because WE want it to be good we make it [an] excuse for why he does this. But this boy is one of hundreds that we know of. Not just one of ten or twenty.
Thomas Wiehe: Are you talking about T? [Editor’s note: Initial correct which stands for Tom, but full name suppressed. This is the so-called “Golden Boy” from Gothenburg, who was laden with ‘gold’ by Sai Baba and who caused the huge furore in Sweden about Sai baba’s sexual abuses]
David Bailey: I don’t know the boy’s name, I’ve not been given it. Thomas Wiehe: Aha. But it must be him. David Bailey: Right.
Thomas Wiehe: “Yeah I was in Puttaparthi in January with him and now in June with him. He talked very openly. Ja… it’s him you mean, Yes, he is a very sincere spiritual seeker and very easy to believe. Did you meet him?”
David Bailey: Well I may have..
Thomas Wiehe: He is, well… I mean, I trust him. Just as a human being. I trust him. Talked a lot and you know you get a feeling ‘is he talking truth or is there something behind it?
David Bailey: Exactly.
Thomas Wiehe: I got the feeling he is very trustworthy. I really think so and he is… he has morality, sound, fine and subtle and strong. It took him – well, he probably told you – it took him some time to decide what to do with this… experiences. But when he had made his decision, he goes out in a very fine way, I think… talking to others and he is fine to talk with.
David Bailey: Yes.
Thomas Wiehe: It’s really bad, I’d say.
David Bailey: Yes. This is very good because if this was somebody who is not balanced it makes the whole thing… where there is a question there. I can tell you I know many, many, many examples of this… the students, because I was so close to them, just turned to me for help – they pleaded with me for help. Thomas Wiehe: Did you teach in [the] Sai school?
David Bailey: Yes, I taught in the college in Prashanthi ah… for three, three-and-a-half years. Not all year, but for periods of six weeks three or four times a year.
Thomas Wiehe: In music?
David Bailey: In music. I prepared the music for Christmas, for Guru Purnima and sometimes the birthday so it meant being with the boys perhaps up to six or seven hours every day. And I’ve a very close relationship with them and with one or two members of staff too. I know exactly what goes on there. When Faye and I discovered what we knew, we decided that we felt it was better to be silent because there are so many people there who rely on him and that’s why we continued with the magazine – not to stop the magazine… but to continue it to give things for people to move on to. Not to change from one guru to another but to find the god within.
Robert Priddy at ‘Sathya Sai Baba In Word and Action’
Major Exposure of Alleged Sexual Abuses By Sathya Sai Baba A documented overview of the History and extent of the alleged sexual abuses by Sathya Sai Baba and the questions they raise
Further Resources at Sathya Sai Baba Deceptions Exposed
Posted by robertpriddy on August 17, 2009
Further Resources at ‘Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba’
Truth In Action: David and Faye Bailey Vs Sathya Sai Baba Michelle Goldberg, US Author-Journalist, on Sathya Sai Baba (1)
Excerpt From Public Petition (With Barry Pittard’s comments)
(Note: You may prefer to proceed straight to the Petition):