Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘William Brelsford’

When Huge Cult Is A Small Shop. Sai Cult Legal Tricks

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 7, 2008

In the Orange County court, USA, Alaya Rahm’s pro bono lawyer, William Brelsford, asked the judge if Sathya Sai Baba could be sued from the United Sates of America, to which the answer was no.

(Case: Alaya Rahm vs. Sathya Sai Baba Society, Superior Court of California, filed January 6, 2006, County of Orange)

It transpired that no one in the US could be held responsible for the sexual abuse by Sathya Sai Baba, not least because there was no registered Sathya Sai Organization (or, to be exact, Sathya Sai Society of America), in the US, only a bookshop and a Sathya Sai charitable society.

In short, the Sathya Sai Baba US cult’s legal advisors have been adroit all along e.g., in ensuring that the Sathya Sai Society of America is nothing but a bookshop – no matter how financially vast and highly organized Sathya Sai Baba’s cult in the USA in fact is.

Hence the case had to be withdrawn. But all the allegations stand fully still. Here are some articles/formal documents relevant to the case:

Some Resources

‘Alaya Rahm’s Lawsuit vs Sathya Sai Society of America – Joint Statement by the International JuST Group and the Rahm family’: http://www.rfjvds.dds.nl/ex-baba/engels/articles/alayarahm.htm .   ‘Alaya Rahm’s Testimony – Some Key Statements:  http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/6/alaya.htm   ‘On Alaya Rahm’s Testimony Against Sathya Sai Baba’:  http://www.saibabaexpose.com/PremRahm.htm .

Posted in Religion, Sai Baba, Sex, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 7, 2008

The issue of the Alaya Rahm law case against the directors of the Sathya Sai Society of America is dealt with at this place:

Alaya Rahm’s Lawsuit vs Sathya Sai Society of America – Joint Statement by the International JuST Group and the Rahm family

Sathya Sai Baba’s Organization Lost Chance For Independent Adjudication

The Rahm case was lost on a technicality. The Society is but a bookshop! Lawyers and others in various countries since consulted are nonplussed that the Alaya Rahm’s pro bono attorney, William Brelsford, appeared not to see this coming and therefore to preempt it. Further, the judge in Orange County Court initially pointed out that Sathya Sai Baba could not be sued in the USA, only in India. Thus, a neat piece of lawyering in the cult’s long-term setting up of its organs paid off for them. But it was not good for the truth, which the Sathya Sai Organization members go about proclaiming is theirs – with such beatific smiles on their faces!

Here was an opportunity for the facts – wherever they may have led – to get out into the open. It is no frivolous thing for a family (or anyone) to embark on a course so potentially fraught with hazards. If confusions are being systematically generated, they can be sorted out. If lies are uncovered, penalties for perjury can be heavily invoked. One’s strengths and weakness are open to the media and to the public.

Yet Mr and Mrs Rahm (Al and Marisa), who formerly and for many years rose to great heights in the Sathya Sai Organization, embarked on a number of attempts, in consultation with other family members, including most of all their son Alaya, to bring to light the facts as adjudged within the third party, democratic and accountable institutions in their country, such as the Orange County Court, in California, and the State Department, USA. They were also generous of their time and energy (amidst strong private commitments that those such as Glen Meloy and myself had to be very respectful of) in testifying to demandingly investigative media such as the BBC, DR (Denmark’s national television and radio broadcaster, Daily Telegraph, India Today, The West Australian, etc. Likewise in our group’s submissions to UNESCO. See links at the foot of this note.

Demonization of Dissenters Who Stand Up At Great Sacrifice

As I know from my personal contact with them and other first-hand sources, they have withstood unimaginable distortions, attacks on their integrity, slander and libel. The links, sometimes disguised by being indirect, between foremost leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization and unofficial Internet presences where the libeling of former devotees continues, we are able to document to bona fide media, scholarly investigators, courts, concerned public institutions, and so on. In regard to the unconscionable behavior of  Sathya Sai Baba devotees who keep silent in the face of the terrible libels and slanders, See the recent document (supported by still further evidence which, for any legal or other prudential reasons is for the time being witheld)  signed by former devotees:

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

One observes, as in many other cases of individuals becoming former followers of Sathya Sai Baba, how decades of loyalty, enormous sacrifice in contribution of service, finance, traveling to India under stressful conditions, traveling around one’s own and other countries on behalf of the teacher’s work, etc., are suddenly set at naught, and one is, virtually overnight, demonized.

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The following quotes from Robert Priddy‘s and Barry Pittard’s four-part series – The Sathya Sai Organisation’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed – which contains many links to germane sources, and is particularly useful for media, scholars, and to those public or private institutions who wish to be wary of connections with the cult’s officials, and other serious investigators:

In a statement by the Rahm family, their attorney and the International JuST Group (9), we read: “No court found Alaya’s allegations to be false. Simply, the suit could not continue on a technicality, and the claims of sexual abuse stand irrefutably true, just as before”. Dr. Venkataraman is himself making a false allegation! Attorney William Brelsford Esq., seeing formidable legal obstacles set by the defendants, and not least working against a statute of limitations deadline, advised Alaya Rahm to self-dismiss the case. Along with other difficulties encountered, his attorney has explained, June 29th, 2006, to Alaya Rahm and his family:

“We were successful at the demurrer stage in establishing that a duty would be owed by the Society in the event they sponsored and/or endorsed the trips that Alaya went on when he was abused by Sai Baba. As it turns out, the Society is not the “hub” of all of Sai Baba’s corporate activities. Rather, the Society, pursuant to declarations under penalty of perjury, confirmed they are a bookstore… nothing more. Accordingly, we do not have the necessary factual requirements to establish liability on the Society/Book center.”

Readings

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

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

The Case of the Missing Media Advisory

BBC Caught UNESCO Head Bowing To Indian Government

UNESCO and Indian Government – Were Up To Tricks

Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba. Media Source List

Sathya Sai Baba Organization and Libel and Disinformation

Indian Minister Shields Sai Baba on BBC television

Dissent From Guru Cults Draws Slander and Harassment

India Today. COVER STORY: SAI BABA. Amarnath K. Menon and Ashok Malik in Puttaparthi.

Daily Telegraph. Divine Downfall. Mick Brown

Video Resources

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

http://home.hccnet.nl/cmg.vdsandt/The%20Secret%20Swami.wmv
(23.3 MB, Modem)

Seduced (DR, Danish Broadcasting, Denmark’s national television and radio broadcaster):
http://www.rfjvds.dds.nl/seduced/seduced.wmv
(80 MB, Broadband)

http://home.hetnet.nl/~seduced/seduced.wmv
(21 MB, Modem)


Posted in New Age, Religion, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

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

Posted by Barry Pittard on February 28, 2007

More detailed information to that below is found in the article ‘The Sathya Sai Organization’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed’. This four-part piece was co-authored by Robert Priddy and Barry Pittard. It responds to points Dr G. Venkataraman has unconscienably raised – despite his knowledge of the excellent character of so many who have, as a matter of moral principal, left the Sai Baba fold. He has demeaned the excellent professionalism of the British Broadcasting Corporation, who were exceptionally exacting in the amount of hard evidence they sought from globally networked Sathya Sai Baba devotees, some of whom had been outstanding leaders for decades (See too: Sathya Sai Baba’s Chief Broadcaster Dr G. Venkataraman: Select Critical Articles by Barry Pittard and Dr G. Venkataraman, Sathya Sai Baba’s Nuclear Boon Companion. 

G. Venkataraman, Sai Baba, K. Chakravarthi

Dr 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 portions of the billions of funds that pour from many countries into the Sathya Sai Central Trust, the declared 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 the extreme male domination is palpable) say very little, as one would expect of a virtually Soviet-style, cultic organization. In some ways – otherwise the public reputability worldwide of the Sathya Sai Organisation would soon be in tatters. But a fact that no Sai devotee can deny is that Sathya Sai Baba and deputy chairman Venkararaman have both wax lyrical about how the former dictator of Uganda Idi Amin wept with tears of devotion over Sai Baba. I invited those of my readers who are very concerned about the cultic adherence of relatives and friends to Sathya Sai Baba to send to, or print off for, them the following irrefutable documentation: 

Idi Amin Video Clip. Amin Claimed Direct Line To God and Sathya Sai Baba and Dr G.Venkataraman: Will They Disavow Their Idi Amin Fondness? and Sathya Sai Baba, dictator Idi Amin and G. Venkataraman and Sathya Sai Baba’s Deputy Head, Dr G. Venkataraman, Speaks of “Mr Idi Amin” and The Last King of Scotland – GOD’S ORDERS and Sai Baba

Until recently, even Venkataraman was subdued. However, a civil lawsuit against the directors of the Sathya Sai Society of America law went badly wrong for the litigant, Alaya Rahm of southern California,the son of Al Rahm who was for many years one of the highest profile Sathya Sai Organization leaders in the world. The young man, Alaya, was advised by his attorney, William Brelsford, to self-dismiss his case. This resulted in terms so absurdly unfavourable to Rahm that some of (including top lawyers from the US, UK, and Australia) have been aghast. One wonders whether his pro bono lawyer William Brelsford can even look himself in the mirror of a morning. His discovery process was faulty, and the high-flying lawyers for Dr Michael Golstein, head of the world Sathya Sai Organization ran rings round the tactically slow-moving Brelsford.

Had the Rahm family not suffered enough – having already courageously and tirelessly lent themselves to former devotee efforts with Denmark’s national broadcaster DR, BBC television, FBI and State Department, UNESCO, etc., – I, for one, favoured initiating a complaints process about William Brelsford to the California Bar Society, but could then, after searching phone conversation with the father, Al Rahm, sense how fragile hurt the Rahm family were feeling, and so backed off. From first hand, I knew well that the Rahm family, out of deep respect for my close and widely respected, much-loved associate (the late) Glen Meloy. It was not as if the Rahm had not already done, and suffered. (For Glen Meloy, see my obiturary: Glen Meloy (“Standing up for truth and goodness”) – In Memoriam

Venkataraman seemed rapturous. Alaya Rahm is one of many throughout the world who accuse Sathya Sai Baba of sexually molesting them while in their teens, not to mention young men just out of their teens. One of the saddening types of report that come to us is of men advanced in age, who have for many years remained quiet about Sathya Sai Baba’s sexual abuse of them when the men were very young, and visited Sai Baba decades ago. Al Rahm has told us how an important factor in the Al Rahm being able to accept his son’s accounts of abuse was that Sathya Sai Baba had sexually abused Al many years before, and Al, like so many others, had seen the abuse not as abuse but as a form of mystic, divine blessing by his all-knowing, all-seeing guru. For another example of belated debriefing see the case of Mark Roche. Here is the BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ segment where Tanya Datta interviews Mark Roche, in his 60’s and now a psychotherapist in the USA:

10.24.10 Aston Santa Monica, California

10.24.16 Music

10.24.28 Tanya Datta: Mark Roche devoted twenty-five years of his life to Sai Baba. He first heard of him in nineteen sixty-nine and soon joined the local centre in California. The guru’s message was the big attraction.

10.24.40 Music

10.24.44 Aston MARK ROCHE: The teachings themselves were very universal and adopted the attitude of embracing all other religions so that it wasn’t a matter of this religion opposed to that, that you had to leave whatever you were in to be associated with Sai Baba, it was something that just be a better Christian or a better Jew or a better whatever it is rather than necessarily having to leave it mixed with the fact that the person who is the head of that is claiming to be God himself.

10.25.12 Music

10.25.15 Tanya Datta: It’s the special moment when God calls. And Mark couldn’t believe his luck when he was summoned for a private interview. But he emerged shocked and confused. Just like the Rahms, Sai Baba had oiled his genitals. Two years later Mark was called for an audience again.

10.25.37 Mark Roche: He kept saying stuff like that I’m giving you a great chance, millions want to touch the feet, you know, I’m giving you whole body, this is great chance, this is great chance. Then he went over to a different of the building and pulled up his dhoti, which is Indian garment kind of thing and exposed himself and sort of indicated that I was supposed to put his penis in my mouth, which, feeling intimidated and confused and all that, I did. And although it didn’t seem right to me but it just seemed like what I was supposed to do.

10.26.12 Music

10.26.15 Tanya Datta: Why would God want to put his penis in your mouth?

10.26.20 Mark Roche: Got me.

10.26.21 Music

10.26.24 Tanya Datta: One of the things that a lot of the abuse victims we’ve talked to have said, is that Sai Baba does these genital oilings because it’s part of Hinduism. Have you ever heard anything like that?

10.26.35 Aston KHUSHWANT SINGH Writer: I, I, I, for one, it’s nothing to do with, 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.

In the view of our lawyers looking at the case, his legal representation was in some respects seriously deficient. Did Venkataraman think it a matter full of merriment for a young man to tangle with attorneys hired by those backed by great wealth? There is not a moment in his long piece (what piece of his is not long, and long-winded?) where Venkataraman shows the slightest compassion. For him a fallen dissenter is a figure for derision and crowing over, and the response of many Sai Baba supporters was the same. How very spiritual of them all! It was simply too much for Venkataraman to miss the opportunity to triumph in front of a wide public – something he could not have done without Sathya Sai Baba’s explicit permission. See:

Alaya Rahm’s Testimony – Some Key Statements and, for the joint statement of the Rahm family and the international JuST group, Alaya Rahm’s Lawsuit vs Sathya Sai Society of America and the independent author Kevin R.D. Shepherd’s 23.6  The Alaya Rahm Lawsuit in California     

See too:  Robert Priddy’s and Barry Pittard’s jointly authored, four-part article ‘The Sathya Sai Organization’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed’ and:

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 and:

Towards Public Accountability and Due Investigation – A formal Open Appeal To The Prashanthi Council and:

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

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Further Reading

(Flash Forward: October 2009) Robert Priddy latest! Dr. G. Venkataraman, propagandist in the limelight

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

BBC Hidden Camera in ‘Secret Swami’. Ethical?

Guru Sex Abuse Testimony To BBC – After Years of Silence

Indian Minister Shields Sai Baba on BBC television

Probed On Male Sex Abuse, Sai Baba Evicts BBC TV Team

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

Exposure of Sathya Sai Baba. Media Source List

Video Resources

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

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

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

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

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

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The Public Petition   

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

About the Petition For Official Investigation Into Sathya Sai Baba Cult

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

Posted in Neglected/sidelined News, People, Religion, Sai Baba, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 38 Comments »