Call For Media and Government Investigation

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

Posts Tagged ‘William L. Brelsford’

Relative Weightings of Allegation and Proof In Exposing Corrupt Institutions (Pt2)

Posted by Barry Pittard on July 2, 2010

This article continues from:

Relative Weightings of Allegation and Proof In Exposing Corrupt Institutions (Pt1)

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 29, 2010

Let us suppose that not all facts are uncovered. There are some distinct advantages of stating facts or clues such as they are understood at the time. One is dealing with a powerful institution bent on cover up. Excellent media investigations show how badly whistle-blowers and other dissenters who expose institutional corruption have been treated. The more one holds to telling the truth, the higher the price. But, then, truthfulness is deemed by many belief systems as priceless. It is therefore ironic to see the chasm of difference between preaching and practice.

One of the advantages of allegation (where it is not vexatious, defamatory and libelous) is that issues that are all too susceptible to dismissal and cover up can be brought out into the open. The unquestioning nature of human beings in general, so lamented for example by parents and teachers who make a stand for urbane attitudes of questioning, is badly exacerbated in the case of cultists. For example, the title of this blogsite is:  Call For Media and Government Investigation of Sathya Sai Baba. That is to say, that the contentions of those who allege are under public scrutiny just as are those of an institution under question.

Repeatedly, media investigators and scholars who have tried to investigate Sathya Sai Baba and his international Sathya Sai Baba Organization. They have found that it is a monolith, strongly impervious to questioning – even my independent researchers no matter the excellence of their qualifications and note. As Sir Karl Popper has well described in his classic ‘The Open Society and its Enemies’, the foes of the open society are those who use its very openness to achieve their closed and devious ends.

A decided advantage of speaking out, even though one may not be in command of all material evidence, is that individuals who are well-positioned to know – or to ascertain more evidence – are then able to do their own sleuthing. Sometimes, this situation entails attempts, by the institutions, to further cover up trails, such as using threats to silence witnesses, hushing up leaders and rank-and-file members within their own midst, destroying paper trails or simply by letting crises blow over and attending to damage control by other means. See: ‘Secret Swami’ Cult Recruits At Prime Public Venues and The Quiet Weeding Out Of Sathya Sai Baba’s Embarrassing Statements

The additional evidence provided by strong allegations repeatedly confirms the sad experiences of those who had not thus known of, or at least heeded, the allegations.  

Attackers of Sathya Sai Baba’s prominent critics do not face this fact. Without much stir from prominent critics, revelations concerning the turpitude of Sathya Sai Baba’s and certain of his leaders come to a head, sooner or later, in his centers round the world. Here, crises arise from revelations of abuses and anomalies which are uncovered in the centers themselves or in any corresponding center. Some centers have had professional, experienced psychological counselors, who have themselves led the exit from Sathya Sai Baba centers.

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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 Opinion, Rationalism, Religion, Society, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Relative Weightings of Allegation and Proof In Exposing Corrupt Institutions (Pt1)

Posted by Barry Pittard on June 29, 2010

Obtaining proof of crimes can be hard and sometimes impossible. It is the nature of evasion to make it so. Sadly, innocence, too, can be hard or impossible to prove. I have long observed that authoritarian cults such as the Sathya Sai Organization make far too little of the role of allegation and large-scale public testimony and far too much of the demand for legal proof. Frequently, the superficial understanding of liberal and democratic notions, such as the freedom of religion or other beliefs, allow authoritarian cults in their self-interest to undermine these cherished notions.
 

Such cults threaten genuinely civil society. Societies that espouse democratic values from top to bottom often accord and vigorously uphold rights in some sectors while, in practice, denying these same rights to other citizens who are equally entitled to them. In countries worldwide, we can see individuals devastated and families and communities torn apart by the activity of cults. Typically, political parties see the issue as too prickly a nettle to grasp. They fear that they will be attacked for subverting the notion of freedom of religion, for example.

Many of these cults have great financial resources, and pump vast amounts into types of promotion that flourish the broad smile and outstretched welcoming arms, but conceal their heavy agendas. Well-heeled cults are prompt to hire high-paid lawyers, and often need but to threaten litigation. Cults, like any other sort of authoritarian regime, bully and harass so as to silence dissent.

I do not say, of course, that rights cannot thrive in a court of litigation. But for those without great funds, it can be a perilous avenue to take, irrespective of the merits of one’s cause. Nonetheless, the Rahm family (whose story was a mainstay of the BBC’s 2004 one-hour documentary on Sai Baba ‘The Secret Swami’) morally supported their young son, Alaya, in civil litigation in the Orange County Superior Court, California, USA. Alaya Rahm alleged that Sathya Sai Baba serially sexually abused him (as, similarly, have many males, or families speaking for minors, around the world). The case was heard by Judge John M. Watson of the Superior Court, County of Orange, California, on April 28th, 2006. See:  Alaya Rahm’s Lawsuit vs Sathya Sai Society of America. Joint Statement by the International JuST Group and the Rahm family (Date: July 16, 2006), and Alaya Rahm’s Testimony – Some Key Statements . California leaders of the Sathya Sai Society of America include the world chairman of Sathya Sai Baba’s organization, Dr Michael Goldstein.

In Part Two of our jointly written four-part article The Sathya Sai Organisation’s Deception and Propaganda Exposed, Robert Priddy and I wrote:

(Dr G.) Venkataraman, with back-up from the facile attorney Robert Baskin, now dares come out into the open, mistakenly asserting that the Alaya Rahm’s self-dismissal of his case against the Society is a triumphant vindication of the Sai forces …

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.”

(Note:  Eminent legal opinion that I have sought opines that Alaya Rahm, son of one of the formerly highest profile Sathya Sai Baba leaders, Al Rahm of Akansas, USA, had far from the best legal advice. Alaya Rahm’s lawyer, William L. Brelsford, represented him on a profit-seeking, no-win-no-pay basis. It became, all too late, glaringly evident that Brelsford’s research/discovery processes relating to the body he sought to pursue were badly lacking. What a shock it is for a litigant, once the case is in court, to find that there was no incorporated entity to litigate against. The lawyers for the Sathya Society of America represented that the only entity was a bookshop. How could that be sued? What clever foresighted provisions the lawyers of the Sathya Sai Organization had taken against future legal challenges! The blundering Brelsford then advised Alaya Rahm client to self-dismiss his case. 

Should any reputable, bona fide legal, academic or media or agency investigators wish to look at the case, I am happy to refer them to those legal experts consulted.

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Part 2 of Relative Weightings of Allegation and Proof In Exposing Corrupt Institutions is due to appear shortly

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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 Opinion, Rationalism, Religion, South Asia, Spirituality, Uncategorized, World Religions | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »