Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘Whistleblowers’

Sathya Sai Baba’s Chief Broadcaster Dr G. Venkataraman: Select Critical Articles by Barry Pittard

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 24, 2010

Dr G.Venkataraman is about as close to Sathya Sai Baba as it is possible to get. His worldwide brief as his international broadcaster and his deputy chairmanship of the Sathya Sai Organization makes it relevant to look at his performance. The reader may keep in mind the question:  Is Venkataraman’s performance what one would expect of a chief disciple of – supposedly – God fully incarnate? Of course, even the most eminent disciples of famous spiritual leaders of the past made some bad showings – but (if the historical records are to be credited) turned out okay in the final run home. But has Venkataraman done so? He has had decades of practice for the “run home”? 

A detailed analyis of Venkatarman at work is found in Robert Priddy’s and Barry Pittard’s jointly authored, four-part article ‘The Sathya Sai Organization’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed’ .  To see his machinations in concert with the Vajpayee government and the then Director of UNESCO (which were exposed by the BBC’s David Saville), see: The Case of UNESCO’s Missing Media Advisory


Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘Minister of Propaganda’ – Dr G. Venkataraman

“G. Venkataraman, formerly an intimate member of India’s nuclear bomb community, was Vice-Chancellor of Sai Baba’s university at Puttaparthi. He is now second-in-charge of the international Sathya Sai Organization, and head of Sai Global Harmony. The latter entity broadcasts, in affiliation with WorldSpace International Satellite Radio Service, 24/7 to many countries. With a behind-the-scenes corporate-style, assisted by the billions of funds that pour from many countries into the Sathya Sai Central Trust, the aim is to penetrate to every corner of the globe. A vital question will be whether politicians in democratic countries will be capable of distinguishing between the issue of freedom of religion and the issue of cults that decidedly do not, whatever may be their rhetoric, respect democracy …. Dr Venkataraman is tantamount to being Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘minister of propaganda’. Practically all heads of the Sathya Sai Organization are forbidden to comment on critical matters, but G. Venkataraman is an exception. The few spokesmen (and they are almost always men!) say very little, as one would expect of a virtually Soviet-style, cultic organization, with a leader and a deputy chairman who can both wax lyrical about how the former dictator of Uganda Idi Amin wept with tears of devotion over Sai Baba”.

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

“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”.

A Bli

(Above photo – is but a graphic art impression of the Dr G. Venkataraman-Sai Baba-Idi Amin Love-Fest).


“The issue is not about high-profile leaders who unavoidably find themselves mixing with monstrous human beings – for example, dignitaries simply going about their formal duties, such as a King, Queen, President etc. The clear issue is that both Sai Baba and G. Venkataraman enthused warmly about recollections of Sai Baba’s visit to Idi Amin in Uganda in 1968, saying how Amin and his retinue were in copious tears of devotion for Sai Baba. Amin was one of the world’s greatest monsters – causing a holocaust estimated at 400,000 people, torturing, raping, engaging in violent orgies and cannibalism. And yet  – Sai Baba (who claims to be all-knowing and God fully manifest on earth and come to save the planet before he leaves it) and Venkataraman showed the most appalling bad taste and absence of judgement”.

Sathya Sai Baba and Dr G.Venkataraman: Will They Disavow Their Idi Amin Fondness?

“Note how Venkataraman, on Sai Global Radio, refers to Mr Idi Amin. I may add that it is interesting that Amin claimed to have a direct line to God. Did he have in mind, specifically, Sathya Sai Baba? Perhaps Amin scholars may have something among their files, and can let us all know.

Sathya Sai Baba-Idi Amin Nexus. Foolish-fond Memories

Sathya Sai Baba-Idi Amin Nexus. Fond Memories

Dr G. Venkataraman, Sathya Sai Baba’s Nuclear Boon Companion

Robert Priddy is the former long-time head of the Sathya Sai Organization in Norway and a retired philosopher in the Social Sciences, University of Oslo. He has written insightfully on the extraordinary, often Procrustean efforts of Dr G. Venkataraman to rationalise his beliefs in Sathya Sai Baba”.

Indian Scientist Dr G. Venkataraman Accused of Plagiarism

”In his article, Venkataraman – the most gullible physicist alive? Robert Priddy (see Wikipedia entry) notes:

Dr. G. Venkataraman reviews at length developments in our scientific knowledge of the cosmos… though nothing scientific that is not found in hundreds of books and other media. Venkataraman was a physicist working for the Indian government’s nuclear programme. However, he has copied his information on astronomy from other scientific authorities. Yet he does not once attribute anything he reports to its originators or to other scientific sources! He has even plagiarised text from the Dennis Dutton website, without any mention …

BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?

“Despite the alarum and excursions of Dr G. Venkataraman (and informally allied Sathya Sai Baba proxy defenders on the Internet whose libels and slanders are deemed by top lawyers in three countries to be extreme, widespread and highly actionable), the BBC had every just cause to shoot clandestinely. The extensive lack of accountability, transparency and of Duty-of-Care were not only seen clearly by the BBC but have also been noted by other world leading, high quality media in several countries”.

The International Sathya Sai Organization – an accessory to a massive libel and disinformation campaign. Open letter to the Prasanthi Council – c/o Dr. M. Goldstein, Dr. G. Venkataraman and its other members. Here is a quote from that document:

“Two semi-official pro-Sai web sites – and – which could not operate without the help of central officials of the Sathya Sai Organization, Radio Sai Global Harmony and Sai ashrams, have links to websites which libel all former members who have spoken out. Such links reveal the obvious inability of Sai representatives in these groups to reply honestly and cogently to any of the many published allegations about Sai Baba made by those who were long respected members, in some cases prominent leaders, of his international organization. Furthermore, some members link to extremist web sites which have as their primary agenda contrived attempts at character assassination of ex-followers who present critical views. The most prominent of such sites are examined here and here.”

See a list (by no means exhaustive) of typical depradations of those Sathya Sai Baba forces (and those caught up in other cults) who claim to be involved in spirituality: Dissent From Guru Cults Draws Slander and Harassment. See also, Cultic Depersonalization or Demonization of Dissenters

The one-hour BBC dcumentary, The Secret Swami (2004) on Sathya Sai Baba, is compelling, and was the work of more than seven intensive months. Its scope was, however, narrow indeed in comparison to a vast database that discloses that much else ails Puttaparthi Sai Baba and his forces such as the Prashanti Council and the International Sathya Sai Organization. See: The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision


The Public Petition   

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

About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

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

Posted in New Age, Opinion, Religion, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 28, 2010

This post continues On Leaving the Sathya Sai Baba Cult – Ex Leaders and Rank-and-File and On Leaving A Powerful Global Cult. Sathya Sai Baba Example (Part 2)


…  I spoke by phone and corresponded with a number of former devotee sexual abuse professionals who knew of various cases at first hand. These included Shirley Pike and the late Elena Hartgering. They and other seasoned professional workers were in no doubt of the fact that Sathya Sai Baba had seriously sexually molested young males. 

As I listened to, or read, the written accounts of both primary and secondary witnesses, I was acutely aware that many of those giving the accounts did not even know each other. Once it was known I was investigating Sathya Sai Baba’s matters, I went on to discover compelling accounts from sources well apart from Sathya Sai Baba circles. Having studied Epistemology, Logic and Methodology in my university Philosophy course, I was ever more aware that the required criterion of non-collusion was being repeatedly satisfied. It was abundantly clear that many of the witnesses did not know each other. Nor did they know of other cases of which former devotees like the late Glen Meloy and myself were compiling an ever-expanding data base. See:  Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”) – In Memoriam.

I could not escape the conclusion that Sathya Sai Baba was a serial sexual molester, on an appalling scale, of minors and young men from his educational institutions and from around the world. 

I also felt acutely conscious that I had been, over many years, whether directly or indirectly (though certainly without proselytizing), instrumental in various people becoming devotees. It is a grave load of conscience to bear, and many former devotees bear it. Like so many others who have investigated and become former devotees, my then partner’s and my hearts were heavy indeed. Typical of others who have just become former devotees, she and I cleared our house of Sathya Sai Baba-related artefacts. As former devotees universally have found, dear friends, in some cases of many years standing, who remained devotees, dropped us, even though we had shown no hostility towards them or Sathya Sai Baba. 

Incredibly, devotees forget that those they shun are the same people in whom they have long cherished qualities of truthfulness, loving-kindness, and sacrificial service to others. They stand by and allow the constant libeling and defaming of those old friends and fellow workers and, for example, the cruel naming of children, amid the distortion of facts on the internet (where there is known background association with those prominent in the Sathya Sai Organization) and deliberately used to attack the parents who have stood forth. They have betrayed those who have, at great sacrifice to themselves, stood up for the very qualities of truth they forever go on about in their study groups and elsewhere. 

These members of the international Sathya Sai Organization abrogate responsibility for instituting and maintaining best practice processes of accountability and transparency to be seen in exemplary modern organizations. Yet, in their professions and trades, they gladly benefit from such provisions. Indeed, at large, they avail themselves of the democratic rights guarranteed in the constitutions of the countries in which most of them live.


Some Further Resources

Joseph. Early Sathya Sai Baba Whistleblower

After Leaving A Cult. Or ‘Moving On’

Sathya Sai Baba Cult. Blind Eye To Massive Slander

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 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



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

There is a Spanish version available:


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

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on January 26, 2010

This article continues from: On Leaving the Sathya Sai Baba Cult – Ex Leaders and Rank-and-File. See also: On Leaving A Powerful Global Cult. Sathya Sai Baba Example (Part 3)


… There was a feeling of truthfulness in the accounts of the authors, and I contacted them. They were – Terry Gallagher (who had resigned as head of the Sathya Sai Organization after rigorously investigating), Hans de Kraker (Australia, who for a number of years ran the Western Canteen at Puttaparthi), Jens Sethi(Germany), David Bailey (who had a rare closeness to Sathya Sai Baba, and an almost unprecedented plenipotentiary role), Hari Sampath (India), Glen Meloy and many others from the USA, such as Sharon Purcell (co-founder of the earliest Sathya Sai Baba center in the USA), Al Rahm (U.S.A., a major organization leader, and, in that country, head of the largest Sathya Sai Baba commune, and founder of the first Sai school).

I contacted Britt-Marie (Bi-ma) Andén (former head of Swedish Sathya Sai Organization and a key figure Sathya Sai Baba Education in Human Values movement), and Conny Larsson (former head of the latter national organization).  When I spoke with Ms Andén, she outlined an account of Sai Baba’s sexual abuse of own son Jasper’s sexual abuse, and how she closed down her international Sai school in Gothenburg. In Stockholm, amidst a great many tears, compelling direct witness accounts were given to membership of the then large and significant Swedish Sathya Sai Organization, which broke up as a result of the revelations, and wider confirmation of similar cases in Scandinavia and elsewhere. One of the witnesses was a very young male, widely known as ‘the golden boy’ because of the gold trinkets Sai Baba would give to him. Conny Larsson told me how the courage of this boy in coming forward led to his own revelations about having been a Sai Baba’s homosexual lover. 

As time went by, I had contact with many others in countries around the world, a brief list of whom includes:

Dr. Naresh Bhatia, Dave Brandt, Stephen Carthew, Timothy Conway Ph.D., Ella Evers, Lionel Fernandez, Jed Geyerhahn, Dennis Hanisch, Alf Tidemann-JohannessenAfshin Khorramshagol (“Said”) Andries Krugers Dagneaux, Dave LyonsRick Raines, Mark Roche, Shirley Pike, Elena HartgeringLori Kaplowitz,  Marc-Andre St. Jean, Matthijs van der Meer, Alexandra Nagel ‘Neptune’, Roy Pendragon, Brian SteelArtur Wisniewski, Ullrich Zimmermann 

I also had contact with those whose names and circumstances must not be discussed except with their written permission (including updated advice on any former undertakings that were positive towards proper court of dealings with best-practice media or government organizations or any other notable institutions). These include those who have taught or studied at Sathya Sai Baba education institutions. The situation of Indian witnesses was particularly acute. The joint family is a profound factor in Indian national life, and many of them had family closely connected with Sathya Sai Baba and his organization over the years. Some family members live in the Puttaparthi ashram and depend on Sathya Sai Baba’s largesse.

As my investigation unfolded, I spoke to young males – and/or their parents. Their accounts of Sathya Sai Baba’s sexual abuse were heartrending. In the matter of my personal, emotional coping with the unceasing revelations, it was fortunate, in one sense, that both my formal work in education, social service and particular life experiences, assisted me as I listened to and read testimonies from people in various countries. Some had been so shattered that it was difficult and sometimes impossible to pursue discussions. As might be expected, some needed to vent; some only did so after a period of trust-building; and others wished (and this was a common phrase used) to “move on”. Of course, undealt-with trauma can much impede any real moving on.

Featuring in many accounts was Sai Baba’s demand of the boys and young men to perform oral sex on himself.  Other factors repeatedly found were the use of bribes and threats. In case after case, the people involved were often regarded by those who knew them as unusually good-looking.

I spoke to many who, in various countries, had been prominent leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization in various countries. As a result of their own investigations, they had resigned on a matter of principle . Many others left the organization quietly, without formal resignation. Many leave-takers do not want their names brought forward.

A dilemma faces the international Sathya Sai Organization which it has not been able to resolve. Because it has maintained a glacial silence, it cannot even begin to do justice to thousands who have so deeply grieved. See Robert Priddy’s article:  Sai Baba: Glaring Publicity yet Silence on Critical Issues

This dilemma may be expressed with the question:  why would those who have been its dedicated and respected members for decades, in some cases prominent leaders, not show the same integrity in investigating the terrible accounts as they have so long shown in their Sathya Sai Organization roles – and, what is more, in their professions and wider communities? I have noted in the article Global Sathya Sai Cult White-ants Itself :

“The demands of professional investigators with whom former devotees have dealt in the attempt to expose the Puttaparthi corruptions are considerable. This includes Interpol, FBI, UNESCO, BBC, CBC, ABC, DR, SBS, The Times of London, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, India Today,, Gatopardo, The Age, Financial Times (Australia), West Australian, Vancouver Sun, The Ottawa Citizen, Toronto Star, BT, Trouw, Spiegelbeeld, Noordhollands Dagblad, Focus, BILD …

If investigations were to uphold Sathya Sai Baba and his core servitors then all is well for them!”

See,  Sathya Sai Baba. Media Source List)

I have had contact with Al Rahm, father of the Rahm family. They had an exceptionally high profile in the Sathya Sai Organization. In fact, Al Rahm started the first Sathya Sai school in the USA. Al and Marisa Rahm and their son (with his account of having been serially sexually molested by Sai Baba) appeared in 2004 in the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’I quickly add that many others, whose accounts did not subsequently appear in the documentary, had discussed their experiences with BBC researchers such as Iris Asic and David Saville and Tanya Datta. David Saville, the assistant producer, with whom I worked closely for several months, told me that there were eventually over 80 hours of filmed testimony, and that the BBC had uncovered compelling accounts from others who did not appear on our private international lists. (These are essentially now in the hands of Robert Priddy and myself, and we can direct enquiries of those with excellent professional bona fides to relevant professionals within our ranks).

 Almost overnight, we had become demons!

Further Resources

The Sathya Sai Organisation’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed – by Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard. Part One Part Two Part Three

Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult (Article on)

Some prominent ex-devotees of Sathya Sai Baba

Posted by robertpriddy on June 28, 2009

Witnesses (An alphabetical list linked to testimonies)

Puttaparthi and Misconduct of Sathya Sai Baba’s Officials


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

There is a Spanish version available:


Subscribe to Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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Call for media and government investigation of Sathya Sai Baba

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

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on November 22, 2009

Unimaginable splurgings of pomp, ceremony and conspicuous waste attend, year after year, Sathya Sai Baba’s imperial-like birthday celebrations. The global financial meltdown will not have melted down his vast reserves of gold.

Many politicians from right across India’s political spectrum fall at Sathya Sai Baba’s feet. Likewise industrialists, judges, many of the top brass from the armed services and police, and so forth. We know, too, via strong former devotee contacts with those who have roles at high levels, that, though there are those in foreign service who genuinely regret it, diplomats have been told by their political masters “not to rock the boat” on the Sathya Sai Baba issue.

This is actually a great disservice to India, because Sathya Sai Baba is NOT India!

Most certainly not. In marked contrast, a great many Indians do not in substantive ways – even though they acknowledge that his devotees often do good social works – respect Sathya Sai Baba and his extremely undemocratic and unaccountable cult. By way of confirmation, let any traveller to India keep his or her ears open or even politely pose the question to many of her citizens. That simple test is almost enough in itself. Many well-informed Indians do not appreciate that, at a time when vast efforts  are being made on many fronts to bring India into the best of 21st century practice, that, buffoon-like, Sathya Sai Baba flourishes unbounded aspirations to create a Ram-Rajarate, as it were, in their country – far more opulent the ‘Glory that was Rome’ or the ‘Splendour that was Greece’.Golden Glitter For Sai Baba's 83rd Birthday Mind you, it is more than India he has said that he will rule – it is the whole world. In regard to India, see, for example, the south Indian scholar-Sai Baba devotee Ra. Ganapati  in his semi-official biography, “Baba: Sathya Sai” (Vol II – page 85):

“His college students had the privilege to see another unique creation in the Ootacamund Summer Course in June 1976. Svami, who declared that He would live to see ninety six years in this body, mentioned that eighteen important institutions would be established by Him all over India in the remaining forty six years, and circled His hand.
Immediately there appeared in His hand a big medal with the map of India engraved. There were inscribed therein the eighteen institutions that are to appear in the next near-half-century. Not only that, the medal also carried the important ‘achievements-to-be’ of Svami in the future, in microscopic Devanagiri characters in the Samskrit language.”

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

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

The would-be King of Kings, Lord of Lords

Mace of gold. Mace of a Master? Or Club for use on the heads of those who question him?

He says he will rule the world

He says he will rule the world before leaving it, circa AD 2022

A modest dwellingplace of the would-be Most High

Puttaparthi Prashanthi Nilayam. Modest dwellingplace of the Most High – or aspiring Disneyland?

Sai gold statue

Mahatma Gandhi    

Mahatma Gandhi in 1931 during a visit to London. What a very different person to Sathya Sai Baba …. Below, too, are some other qualitatively different persons …


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

   Sai Dharmak.      

 Sathya Sai Anger Mismanagement Sathya Sai Anger Mismanagement as demonstrated by Sathya Sai Baba’s international chairman Dr Michael Goldstein of Corvina, California, USA. He was caught by BBC hidden camera in ‘The Secret Swami’ (2004), using appallingly bad arguments, and getting angry at the most politely-ask questions of Tanya Datta and her colleague. So serious was the compelling mass of evidence from around the world of Sai Baba’s commission of many instances of serious forms of abuse (including that of boys and young men), and the extreme lack of transparency and accountability of the Sathya Sai Organization, that the BBC producers gained a very sparingly-used sanction from the highest echelons of BBC Management. See: 

BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?

Would my reader wish to be ruled by Satya Sai Baba’s henchmen, much less by Sai Baba himself?

Or, indeed, anger might be put to better purpose! :-


Sai Baba on his Golden Chariot




Sathya Sai Baba "dislikes pomp" Sathya Sai Baba says he dislikes pomp. “I am prepared” he said, “even to give up Prashanthi Nilayam to meet the needs of my people.” (Sanathana Sarathi October 1998, page 265)

 Indian God’s Birthday. Says Will Rule World. Photo

Pomp at Puttaparthi is scarcely equalled anywhere

Puttaparthi Pomp. The Emperor That Never Was


Sai Baba’s Imperial 83rd Birthday Celebrations Photo, Puttaparthi, India

Indian PM, Manmohan Dresses Up For Sathya Sai Baba

Indian PM, Manmohan Dresses Up For Sathya Sai Baba

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

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


Sathya Sai Baba upcoming birthday


Indisputable facts about Sathya Sai Baba by BBC

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

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

For Online Viewing and/or Dowloading

The Secret Swami (BBC Television) Broadband 154 MB

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

SaiBaba on thrones    sathya sai throne   Sai on thrones             

saibabathrone    Baba on 3 thrones   


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

Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult


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

There is a Spanish version available:


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

The Decline and Fall of the Showman Empire

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 10, 2007

Note: Because of marked upsurges of enquiry and interest in our exposure of Sathya Sai Baba and his cult, I shall briefly post to the Home Page (from 10 September 2007) ‘The Decline and Fall of the Showman Empire’. This article gives background and perspective to our earlier as well as our subsequent work.  A few days ago, I did similarly with an article 4 April 2007 , which I have now reverted to its former chronological position: The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ – A Revision

Despite a great deal of sacrifice of time and health, former devotees have persisted. Against them, there have been remorseless and unconscienable libels, attacks on families (including our children who have been maliciously named on the internet to get at their parents, interference in professions and community lives, and almost daily distortion and vituperation on the internet by a known associate of those closely connected with Sathya Sai Baba and his international Sathya Sai Organization.

The fact that we will not stop has led to profound fallings-away from Sathya Sai and his cult.

Barry Pittard


Sathya Sai Baba’s ‘showman empire’ is worth many highly unaccountable billions. Frequently, they pour to his Sathya Sai Central Trust from your country and mine. (See reference in my note, Sai Baba Exchequer Worth Billions. Many Countries Donate).


Given India’s endemic corruption that extends to the highest echelons, it is not to be wondered at that successive governments in that otherwise great country have ensured that nothing is allowed to stanch the flow of bounty from foreign countries into India.

Media Empires Are More Effective


R to L. Media mogul’s mogul Rupert Murdoch, Ted Turner, a slight competitor! (film star Jane Fonda’s Ex), Zee TV’s Subhash Chandra, Time Warner’s Dr Richard Parsons

But now, Sai Baba has been increasingly exposed to the world on television by the BBC, DR (Denmark), AZUL (Argentina), CBC (Canada), ABC,  SBS (Australia), and in the press – India Today, Times of London, Telegraph, Guardian, Age, Australian Financial Times, and newspapers in several parts of Europe, Canada, and elsewhere. This does not mean that any of these major institutions did a thorough job, for there abound many compelling accounts of various kinds of abuse by both Sathya Sai Baba and his servitors, some of them tragic indeed.

We are now better able to see the Decline and Fall of the Showman Empire. But the core leaders of the ‘Secret swami’ (as the BBC has named Sai Baba) are immensely powerful, and will not go down without a fierce fight. Theirs is a secret world, and this secrecy is one of the first roadblocks encountered by scholars and other investigators who have attempted to study Sai Baba and his organization. It is one of the distinguishing marks that go to defining a cult.

No Edward Gibbon To Chronicle Sai Baba’s Decline and Fall – Yet

Some exceptions to a a long-muzzled Indian media occurred November 2006, when Paul Lewis’s story broke in The GuardianThe Indian living god, the paedophilia claims and the Duke of Edinburgh awards. It raised concerns about the nexus between the Duke of Edinburgh Awards and the UK Sai youth, on their way in large numbers to see Sai Baba. Those, such as myself, who have had to deal with media issues, pay tribute to the work of IANS (Indo Asian News Service) who did some adroit work about getting this story into India.

In London, a not very experienced or competent UK CEO, Peter Westgarth – see HERE – was slow off the mark. However, after very high level representations from our side, the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme trustees and Prince Philip’s Private Secretary, Brigadier Sir Miles Hunt-Davies KCVO, CBE,


realized that a serious matter was at hand. Questions were also raised by some powerful citizens, including a former Home Minister, Tom Sackville. The Duke of Edinburgh Awards required of Dr G. Venkataraman, at an official Sai Baba website to take down the triumphant – but absurdly mistaken – information that the Duke of Edinburgh Award had been awarded to Sai Baba himself.

G. Venkataraman, formerly a member of India’s highly secret nuclear establishment, is Sai Baba’s deputy world head, who also directs Sai Baba’s international 7 days 24 hours satellite radio service via the WorldSpace international corporation. According to the Wikipedia entry for ‘Sathya Sai Baba’, its Director Dr Michael Nobel is “one of the patrons for the radio network” and “said that the radio network would spread Sathya Sai Baba’s message of global harmony and peace”. (With little sense of time’s passage, the Sai devotees who wrote the Wiki article say, absurdly, that Michael Nobel is the son of Alfred Nobel, who founded The Nobel Foundation and after whom the Nobel Prize is named)

An Imperial Puttaparthi Wishes To Penetrate Every Corner of Globe

Dr Venkataraman states:

“Sometime in September 2001, two distinguished visitors came to Sri Sathya Sai Super Speciality Hospital in Bangalore. They were Dr. Noah Samara, CEO, WorldSpace Corporation, and Dr. Michael Nobel, Chairman, Nobel Family Society, and a Member of the Board of Directors of WorldSpace. Dr. Nobel is the great grand nephew of Dr. Alfred Nobel, the founder of Nobel Prize … Who can deny the play of the “hidden hand”? Dr. Samara and Dr. Nobel were duly blessed with a Divine Interview, in the course of which Dr. Samara offered at the Lotus Feet an entire digital radio channel for broadcasting Swami’s Message of Love and Compassion to the entire world”.

Duke Versus Emperor. Edinburgh Beats  Puttaparthi

On November 4, 2006, The Guardian ran Paul Lewis’s story (see above). In a development that occurred quite without (a story perhaps to be told one day) The Guardian seeking it, in November 2006, The Indo-Asian News Service (IANS) managed to get a few major Indian media to take the feed on the Paul Lewis story. There have been decades of censorship of material adverse to the politically and religiously too-hot-to-handle Sai Baba and his vast and, in India, extraordinarily powerful Sathya Sai Organization. This feed also went to parts of Asia and the Middle East. It has been an absurd situation that NRI’s (Non Resident Indians) have been accessed in the media of many countries with large Indian diaspora to critical information about Sai Baba, when Indians in their own country have been denied.

Investigative Opportunities

The present writer (email:  bpittard(at) can provide journalists and other investigators with a slew of media and academic contacts who can verify that the Sathya Sai Organization is a prime example of a cult in hiding from the media and others wishing to examine it. This is why the BBC obtained a difficult to gain sanction from its senior managment and Legals to use a hidden camera on the world chairman of Sai Baba’s orgnanization, Dr Michael Goldstein of Covina, California. (See BBC video footage HERE)

Without hazard to life and limb, astute, seasoned, well-briefed journalists should be able to slip unnoticed into Sai Baba ashrams and centers and other meeting places, and those of other cults. One financial journalist was about to investigate the vast money trails but got reassigned. Another, an award winning journalist from an Australian newspaper was, after weeks of intense investigation, about to front page when, at the last moment, his Editor-In-Chief spiked the story. A Can-West journalist had to modify his piece after heads of his newspaper got ensconced for hours with lawyers of a multi-millionaire advertizer with the same newspaper. However, many media have stood up to pressures from the Sathya Sai Organization senior brass.

Any temptation to obtain a good laugh from silly beliefs or practices should at all costs be avoided. It is no laughing matter that, for example, young people can get themselves horribly enmeshed in cult life, just as we can lose them via drugs and alcohol. Trustfully, by better awareness among broadcasters’ of their journalists getting too close to their stories, (BBC) John Sweeny-like confrontations will be avoided. See my article, Of Anger. BBC’s John Sweeney and the Scientologists.

The Emperor Without Clothes

At this link, in the article When ‘Divine’ Magnetism Becomes A Dead Weight, I provide but one example of the sort of craziness Sai Baba’s many supposedly educated devotees respond to in the manner of the subjects in the Hans Christian Anderson story The Emperor’s New Clothes. The George W. Bush medical advisor Professor Kanwaljeet ‘Sunny’ Anand, the birth scientist, stands as one of many examples around Sai Baba of those who desert their normal intelligence and range into the empirically absurd. There is a naked discrepancy which they, including Sai Baba’s more intellectual followers, see-but-don’t-see. Robert Priddy comments aptly on Sai Baba’s unscientific statements about magnetism and the nature of the atom HERE

Cult Awareness and Non-Cooperation Will Demolish Sai Baba’s Empire

According to the great British historian, Edward Gibbon (1737-1794):

“The union of the Roman empire was dissolved; its genius was humbled in the dust; and armies of unknown barbarians, issuing from the frozen regions of the North, had established their victorious reign over the fairest provinces of Europe and Africa.” Chapter 33, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire

But it will not be armies of barbarians who humble the showman emperor’s empire into dust. There has been much exposure of his implication in police killings in Sai Baba’s bedroom on June 6, 1993. There has been the testimony relating to his rampant, serial sexual molestation of boys and young men. Thanks to some of the worlds most respected media, voices of credible witnesses from many parts of the world have been – at last!- heard. Scholarly former devotees, distinguished for their learning when they were devotees (and indeed in their own professions) have extensively exposed whole trails of contradiction and anomaly and bad science and history to be found in Sai Baba’s own – officially recorded – words and deeds. Read his discourses – simply that – and the contradictions, the absurdly non-scientific and blundering historical statements (now excised where possible by his editors, but archived by Robert Priddy and Brian Steel, see below) will demolish him.

He says he will rule the earth, but he cannot even rule the Duke of Edinburgh. Nor, breaking his widely publicized promises, can he transform India. Nor has he been able to honor many years of promises that he is about to travel to other parts of the world – see, Will World Accept Sai Baba. He says yes. Very Soon

Further Resources

Useful are the websites of retired (or refreshed!) academics, Robert Priddy (Norway), HERE, and Brian Steel (Australia) HERE. See also Wikipedia reference under: ‘Robert Priddy’ HERE and his blogsite at:
There are also the general former devotee website at, with English, Dutch, Italian sections. Those at Allegations concerning Sathya Sai Baba are in English, Spanish, Russian, Dutch, Italian, German, Danish, Polish and Norwegian……


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

There is a Spanish version available:



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Posted in Morality, Neglected/sidelined News, New Age, Protest, Religion, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments »