Sathya Sai Baba Exposé: An Update
Thursday, September 25, 2003
Barry Pittard, Australia.
The three articles published by the international magazine Nexus, September-October 1999, on accusations against Sathya Sai Baba, India's most famous guru, were seminal. These alleged his serial sexual molestation of young males from different countries, and other acute betrayals of spiritual trust.
Independently of extensive investigations by former devotees, Nexus publisher-editor Duncan Roads tested many Sai Baba-related sources. He writes, "I personally interviewed victims and parents. I used to be a believer and I denied these accounts as fiction, UNTIL I INVESTIGATED THEM." (Email to me, Sunday, June 15, 2003 12:15 AM, posted June 16, "News,”). As we advanced our own worldwide investigations and campaign of exposure, Duncan Roads’s confirmation of the integrity of the evidence, and printing of the articles, was certainly a morale-boost.
Sathya Sai Baba's dissenters are often those who were closely, and for many years, connected with his organisation’s vast-scale, worldwide devotional, educational and social work. From May 1999, former devotee activists - such as retired management consultant Glen Meloy (above all), USA, and software engineer Hari Sampath, now India/at the time green card-USA - led hard-won campaigns to bring the facts to international attention via the media, governments, police, sexual abuse authorities, etc.
Clearly losing his nerve in response to our intense government, police, media and internet pressure, Sathya Sai Baba’s discourse on Christmas Day 2000 did far from celebrate 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,” and thousands of “Judases.” He extensively boasted his social works (actually, they are overwhelmingly those of his devotees). Jealousy and reception of money motivated us, he said. Very terrible is the karmic future he evoked for us: "Betrayal of God is the worst of all betrayals. It will not be atoned no matter how many births are experienced!"
In his chanted introduction to the discourse, he says, "Forbearance is the real beauty in this sacred land of Bharat (India)." Throughout, there was no hint of his practising what he has so often preached at other times: "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 law-abiding way. Nothing suggested a Christ-like forgiveness. To question his claims to Godhood is to be forever damned.
Well before formal Exposé activities, which are mainly those of former followers of Sathya Sai Baba, the late Dr Abraham T. Kovoor, the Sri Lankan Rationalist who lived in India for many years, mounted public challenges to Sathya Sai Baba. So have member organisations of the International Humanist and Ethical Union, which has NGO Special Consultative status with the United Nations as well as the Council of Europe. India’s most renowned rationalist and former Vice Chancellor of the University of Bangalore, South India, Dr. H. Narasimhaiah, a scientist, set up a twelve-member academic committee "to investigate rationally and scientifically miracles and any other verifiable superstitions." However, Sathya Sai Baba refused to co-operate. Some IHEU member organisations wish to stage an international conference on Sathya Sai Baba in a leading city of the world. Its Executive Director Babu Gogineni has emailed me, Thursday, 6 March 2003 7:45 AM, “Officers of the London-based IHEU have many times voiced their concern at the impunity with which Sathya Sai Baba operates, untouched by the Indian criminal justice system. It considers the allegations of paedophilia against him as gravely as it considers similar accusations against the Catholic and other clergy in the West.” He says that one of the IHEU’s concerns is the personal danger to its activists from fanatical followers of the guru, especially in India.
B. Premanand, of TV "Guru Buster’s" fame, and fellow Indian Rationalists, among other gutsy actions, tried and failed to expose Sathya Sai Baba in court. Sri Premanand has formed a Committee for Scientific Investigation into Claims of the Paranormal (CSICP). He mounted a court action in Sathya Sai Baba’s state of Andhra Pradesh, in which the High Court Judge Anjaneyulu, known to be Sai Baba’s devotee, ruled that the law requiring a license to produce gold does not apply to Sathya Sai Baba, who, he determined, materialises his gold from a divine realm: http://www.indian-skeptic.org/html/saigold.htm. B. Premanand has published a searing, erudite 800-page book on the 1993 police executions, Murders in Sai Baba’s Bedroom, B. Premanand. 11/7 Chettipalayam Road, Podanur. 641 023 Tamil Nadu, India. See also Robert Priddy’s writings on this topic mentioned later in the present article.
In 1970, Tal Brooke published "Lord of the Air," which was banned in India and subsequently re-written and published as "Avatar of Night." Paperback: 400 pages. End Run Publishing; December 15, 1999. ISBN: 193004500X. During the fourteen months he lived close to him, Sathya Sai Baba conferred on him, as he was later to do with David Bailey (q.v.), a rare closeness – rather too close for comfort, it would seem. It was too easy for both Western and Hindu Indian Sai devotees to allude to his adoption of a born-again Christian faith, and to pass off his accounts of Sathya Sai Baba’s sexual escapades as those of a jaundiced, badmouthing fool. (I used to think of him in these terms, too). In actual fact, Tal Brooke is author of nine books and is listed in Marquis Who's Who in the World (Volumes 12 & 13), Contemporary Authors (Vol. 93-96), and The International Who's Who of Authors. The famous English intellectual Malcolm Muggeridge highly praised his work. Glen Meloy (q.v.) has correctly identified Tal Brooke as the ‘original whistle-blower.’ In fact, he has shared vital, as yet unpublished information with Glen Meloy and me, and undertaken to reveal it at a time when it will have maximum impact.
In the mid to late nineties, almost a lone voice, the Italian Paul Holbach, in his second language English, provided the first, consecutive, incisive questioning of Sathya Sai Baba. He withdrew his website, took to other preoccupations but permitted the larger part archived at the Exbaba website: http://www.exbaba.com/articles/p_holbach/eng/loka_e.htm
Devoted to Sathya Sai Baba for twenty-five years, I spent a few years around him and for two years taught English literature at all levels in a voluntary capacity (1978-79) at his college in Whitefield, via Bangalore, the first of several large boys' colleges Sathya Sai Baba founded. Along with a large network of those formerly associated with his work, and as a matter of simplest conscience, I now assist with exposure activities.
Unless the phenomena are powerfully challenged, Sathya Sai Baba is all too likely to pass into history hailed as a world teacher and savior. His devotees are legion in all the top Indian power structures. Slavishly, they, and millions of Indians, sink at his feet, declaring him a national treasure - the greatest divine incarnation ever - and believe him when he says that he will save the entire world, with India leading the rest of us. Heavily armed state and federal police forces and his own security and intelligence force, some of them specially trained in Israel and the USA guard him with a protection tighter than a drum. Why would they not? In the form of foreign currency, he brings billions into India, and his organisation sets up projects that Indian governments of all persuasions have frequently failed to implement.
Powerful incentives to belief are the ostensible miracles. But not all such phenomena related to him - such as sacred ash (vibhuthi) that pours from his venerated photos and other apparently miraculously manifesting objects - submit to rational explanation, no matter how grimly rationalist antagonists persist in superficial analyses. These phenomena occur worldwide in devotees’ homes and other venues. I have had a great many such experiences, and opine that rationalistic analyses, in this, although not in other directions, fall short. But dogmatism from both believers and rationalists only hinders rational exploration of such phenomena.
The Indian power structure, including most sections of the media, constantly obstructs legal and other efforts by the Exposé, with the honorable exception of India Today and Vijayavihaaram, the latter with its unique and brave Editor, Ramana Murthy. Several of us, including those with excellent credentials, have written to the Indian President, Prime Minister and hundreds of parliamentarians, embassies, high commissions, and media. Reflecting shamefully on their country, they remain mute, showing rank irresponsibility and failure of courtesy. Some Indians who could help a lot do not, being afraid to offend the status quo. They fear falling out of favor with family, friends, workplace, and so on. You would not think it was the land of the Freedom Fighters, nor of the Vedas, which, as the brave Swami Vivekananda said, ring out with the notion of fearlessness.
Indeed, the instrument of the subpoena may need to be used in cases such as that of Dr Naresh Bhatia, former head of the Blood Transfusion Unit at Sathya Sai Baba’s multi-million dollar Super Specialty hospital at Puttaparthi. Dr Bhatia has given us accounts of his own homosexual liaisons with Sathya Sai Baba, and of his eventual protest at Sathya Sai Baba’s sexual abuse of his college boys, including a young boy in 7th Standard (not, as is sometimes misreported, a seven years old boy). In discussions in his own New Delhi home with Stephen Carthew (q.v.), he has clarified the issue of the boy’s age, and has said (including in emails to me) that he still regards Sathya Sai Baba as his guru. (As Swami Chidananda, the institutional successor of the famous Sivananda of Rishikesh once told me, when I sought his guidance after an Australian woman had come to me distressed at hearing rumours of homosexual practices by Sathya Sai Baba, there is a long Indian tradition of surrender to one’s spiritual guru, even when serious flaws are discovered). Spiritual?! Privately, Dr Bhatia relates that he does not rescind on his earlier accounts but will not repeat them because of concern for the safety of those involved. We also understand that he has, in exchange for the release of his possessions, entered into an agreement with the Puttaparthi ashram authorities to remain silent. What fearlessness!
In India, paedophilia is a still far more tabooed topic than it is in Western countries. Nor would boys involved in such a scandal look too good in the arranged marriage sphere. However, a few courageous Indians work to expose Sathya Sai Baba. This input is crucial, as it is important for activists to lead the action within the culture that they understand best. Hindus active in the Exposé, such as the Tamil-Australian former devotee Jeyendran Soma, a civil engineer, feel that Sathya Sai Baba profoundly misrepresents and defames Hinduism, even while seeming to extol it. They point to the contradictions and muddles that he makes with the Hindu scriptures, many of which bungles can be shown to have been quietly removed by his translators. These Hindu men and women, assisted by distinguished scholars, are now taking these matters to the leading Hindu councils in the world. Smallish but very determined groups campaign to reveal the many accusations against him.
We are now much further advanced, with two extensive general websites, http://www.exbaba.com (Dutch, English and Italian) andthis website (English, Spanish, Russian, and Polish). A widely representative Sai Baba Exposé group, Just Seekers of Truth (JuST), uses a professional public Petition website, http://www.saipetition.net You too can sign it.
Welcome is the emergence of critical, prolific scholarly writers with their own Sai Baba Exposé websites: see, Robert Priddy (Norway), http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/ and Brian Steel (Australia) http://bdsteel.tripod.com/More/index.html.
The ‘findings’ referred to were those of husband and wife David (UK) and Faye Bailey (Australia), formerly two exceptionally prominent devotees, both authors of strongly selling books on Sathya Sai Baba, who ceased their devotion as they kept discovering compelling evidence for sexual molestation and major fraudulence of various kinds. An English concert pianist, David Bailey taught music at Sathya Sai Baba’s university at Puttaparthi, and made frequent trips there from 1994, and was a popular keynote speaker at official Sai devotee gatherings round the world. I think that ‘The Findings’ would profit from very rigorous documentation and witnessing of sources, such as the Hyderabad jeweler said to provide objects that Sathya Sai Baba ‘materialises.’ See also, ‘Personal Experiences of David Bailey,’ http://www.exbaba.com/witnesses/david.html
Among penetrating contributions are those of Alexandra Nagel (Holland) and Serguei Badaev (Russia). The latter has, for example, documented glaring failures in financial accountability within the Sathya Sai Organisation. He was President of the Moscow Sathya Sai Centre, National Sathya Sai Education in Human Values Coordinator and Deputy Chairman of the Central Council of Russian-speaking countries. A formidable ex pro-Sai polemicist is Sanjay Dadlani, a UK university student in computer sciences, who changed sides, and now conducts a former devotee discussion board, http://groups.yahoo.com/group/SaiBabaExposed/ (Non-members must go to this web address and the other Yahoo group addresses, mentioned below, to join up). One of Sanjay Dadlani’s concerns is the prospect of Sathya Sai Baba making (as he has promised) a move to the world stage. The concern is not misplaced. Already on air is a 24-hr digital radio broadcasting station, inaugurated by Sai Baba on November 23rd, 2001 on the day of his 76th birthday. http://www.sathyasai.org/radio/radio.html. According to a Sai Sathya Organisation prospectus, it is beamed at India and neighboring countries, Africa, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, and non-northern parts of Europe, with plans to cover South America this year, and then the USA.
Sadly, a site well run by Anthony Thomas, Quick Topic, was repeatedly spammed and destroyed by Sathya Sai Baba followers untypical of those very decent devotees most of us have known down the years. A similar fate attended the website of a sensitive young woman, Keenan Cheney, who for the sake of her own psychological wellbeing withdrew from the persistent outpourings of pro-Sathya Sai Baba vitriol, a concoction some of his devotees regularly offer us to drink. Also pivotal to our effort are highly qualified and respected sexual abuse professionals well apprised by Sai Baba's victims and their families.
Not the slightest evidence exists of any attempt by him or his organisation to curb the many and incredibly hateful activities of certain Sathya Sai Baba devotees in their attacks on us. With the extremely rare, immature exceptions – with whom most of us will not allign our efforts with – former devotees have comported themselves throughout with great forbearance. Since Sathya Sai Baba has forbidden his devotees to view the allegations on the Internet, we have no means of seeing his devotees well-represented in any discussion.
Much of Sathya Sai Baba’s fraudulence has been exposed. For example, videos shot by well-known devotees show him, on careful analysis, faking materialisations. The Sai Baba-appointed US videographer James Redmond’s vast video footage is a prime case. Some devotees have acknowledged seeing Sai Baba cheat, but say that it is his test of their faith. However, it may be a mistake to miscalculate strong evidence for some of the supra-rational phenomena. These often convince otherwise rational human beings that humanity is in the presence of a great spiritual benefactor. If he makes a move to charismatically charm the world, and the powerful appearance of miracles continues, whatever be its causation, we need to ensure that civil reality and law triumph over the thirst for the miraculous. We need to ensure that national police forces have plentiful sworn affidavits, so that they can be fully equipped with arrest warrants in any country with its own victims where he may decide to travel.
A common response to the three Nexus articles was that they had the 'ring of truth.' One of the authors was Dr Terry Gallagher, an agricultural scientist, and formerly highly respected leader of the Australian Sathya Sai Organisation. Some comments of his are at: http://www.exbaba.com/witnesses/terry.html. Dr Gallagher’s efforts to properly investigate the allegations of sexual molestation had been, long previous to the Nexus article, heavily suppressed by T. Sri Ramanathan, the head of the Sathya Sai Organisation of Australia and Papua New Guinea. Dr Gallagher resigned on the basis of high principle, as have many others since, the world over. He also told me that he had, all in vain, extensively presented evidence for sexual molestation to Valmai Worthington, of Queensland, Australia. She is a prominent organiser of many groups (young males included) who visit Sathya Sai Baba (I was in one of them, leaving Brisbane, Australia November 14, 1997). Indeed, I have compelling evidence that in a Worthington-led group a young man (known to me) had his genitals touched by him, and an exceptionally credible eyewitness is able to attest to this fact under oath.
One of the Australians with direct personal accounts of sexual molestation by Sathya Sai Baba is Hans de Kraker, a graphic arts business consultant, who formerly managed the Westerner’s canteen a Puttaparthi. He relates to me that he reported his experience to one of the foremost leaders in the Australian Organisation, Dr Sara Pavan, a senior Sydney anaesthetist, who, he says, did not give him a proper hearing and said that it is better "not to speak of such things."
In thus totally disregarding the complaints by parents, boys and young men about sexual molestation, many officers of the Sathya Sai Organisation derelict their duty of care at both the individual and Organisation levels.
Another highly respected leader, Stephen Carthew, a documentary filmmaker, formerly the Spiritual Co-coordinator for South Australia, shortly after the Nexus article, submitted that the allegations be discussed by the rank and file. After speaking to a number of families who accessed him to alarming first-hand reports of sexual molestation by Sathya Sai Baba, he too was deeply shaken, and called a formal meeting of devotees in Adelaide. Summarily, T. Sri Ramanathan, a retired, ex-Sri Lankan commercial lawyer who now works for the Law faculties of both the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales, cast him out. http://www.exbaba.com/letters/carthew.html. On Mother’s Day 1999, Stephen Carthew had also dared to suggest to a South Australian Sathya Sai Organisation’s ladies' group – who, he tells me, warmly endorsed his speech - that the Organisation was highly male chauvinistic. Worldwide, other courageous and truthful individuals have received the same draconian treatment. For a similar bloody-minded casting out of a former top leader of the Russian Sai Organisation, see Serguei Badaev's report, http://saiguru.net/english/articles/10disqualification.htm
As of Tuesday noon Eastern Australian Standard Time, September 2, 2003, the Petition signatories number 470. (There is the encouraging sign of an increasing number of Indian names beginning to appear, giving India as their country). These include former devotees from many countries. Some of them had spent well over two decades closely involved in Sai Baba's work. Some held key positions. It outlines allegations against Sathya Sai Baba, notably those relating to serial sexual abuse of minors and young men and Sai Baba's complicity in police executions in his private apartments at Puttaparthi on June 6, 1993. It calls for a properly constituted official enquiry and pressure by governments around the world. See Robert Priddy's "Faith-shaking events - the 1993 murders," http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/16/Narasimhan_RobertPriddy.htm. For other Priddy contributions on the police killings, see also: http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/8/extramurders.htm and http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/8/Sathya_Sai_Baba_bedroom_murders.htm. His page at http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/8/MurderReview.htm has texts of transcripts from Indian newspapers in 1993/4.
Coming from many countries, cultural and educational backgrounds, we increasingly expose him and his accomplices in major venues. Requiring immense effort and networking, we precipitated well-researched articles in the press of many countries. These include: Australia (The Age), Canada (Ottawa Citizen, Toronto Star, Vancouver Sun), Denmark (BT), Chile (Gatopardo), Germany (Bild, Focus), Holland (Trouw), India (India Today), U.S.A. (Salon.com), U.K. (Times of London, Daily Telegraph), Sweden (Göteborgsposten), … National broadcasters have joined in Denmark (on radio news and talkback, and thrice on TV), Norway ("Seduced" was thrice shown on national TV on Saturday nights), UK (BBC radio) and Australia (ABC radio), as well as several installments of Alejandro Agostinelli’s documentary in Argentina (Azul TV), and Dutch radio and TV. Under tight wraps are some upcoming, major media exposures.
On January 30, 2002, Danish Broadcasting aired Øjvind Kyrø's 54-minute documentary on the Sai Baba Exposé, "Seduced," with a number of repeats. Major TV interests in the world have now purchased "Seduced." Millions more will see it quite soon but the program schedules we wish to keep from the cunning and increasingly desperate Sathya Sai Organisation. Promptly, the municipal authorities rescinded the sale to Sai Baba devotees of the famous castle Arresødal in Copenhagen, which was to have been used as a ‘Sai international school.’ Though money is supposed to speak all languages, the US $6 million did not speak Danish! (On excellent information, I assert that Bob Bozzani, a high roller and key Sathya Sai Organisation leader in the USA, Bob Bozzani, would have difficulty denying that the money came from him! He, by the way, has been given by Glen Meloy (q.v.) and others ample evidence of Sathya Sai Baba’s sexual molestations, and ignored it). "Seduced" brought out a terrible thirst for several litigation actions against Danish Broadcasting by Central Co-coordinator for Europe and Co-coordinator for Russian-speaking countries Thorbjörn Meyer, and the Danish businessman Jørgen Trygved, who was also Chairman of the ‘Sai international school’ fund board.
It was a litigious thirst that Danish Broadcasting, proud of its journalistic professionalism, refused to cater to, and the courts of Denmark are clearly unwilling to slake. As of April 9, 2000, right on the heels of my open and successful activity in getting the University of Adelaide to cancel the Sai National Conference 2003, the same thirst has gripped T. Sri Ramanathan in Australia, who has formally threatened litigation against me, and falsely declared that I have violated the telecommunications act. http://www.saiaustralia.org.au/release/100.html. No matter that, over the years, Sathya Sai Baba has repeatedly inveighed strongly against litigation.
After investigating our submissions, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Flinders, South Australia, cancelled his University’s high-powered delegation which, with UNESCO (Paris), was to co-sponsor an education conference in human values in September 2000 at Sai Baba's main http://web.archive.org/web/20001017142401/http://www.unesco.org/education/highlights/media_advisory.htm at Puttaparthi. After our very strenuous submissions, UNESCO withdrew. On September 9, and again in more detail on the 15th, it posted a Media Advisory: . The Advisory cited lack of consultation by the Institute of Sathya Sai Education; the unethical scheduling of some sessions at his ashram, instead of outside it; and the inclusion of some delegates without their prior consent. Above all, it stated, "The Organisation is deeply concerned about widely reported allegations of sexual abuse involving youths and children that have been leveled at the leader of the movement in question, Sathya Sai Baba." As Glen Meloy (q.v.), others and I were privy to the correspondence, we know that UNESCO moved only after first obtaining reports from the French National Police (the Sureté).
The US State Department’s ‘India - Consular Information Sheet,’ November 23, 2001, in a way that clearly points to Puttaparthi, warns of reports of sexual abuse of males by the religious teacher there. No doubt for legal-political reasons, the Travel Advisory avoids naming Sathya Sai Baba: http://www.exbaba.com/shortnews/warning.html. However, via extensive direct contact, Exposé co-coordinators know exactly where the State Department and FBI continue to stand, the high seniority of those officials involved, and what actions they are able to take should this guru dare to fulfill his long-time promise to enter the USA.
The Indian Prime Minister, A.B. Vajpayee, and three high-profile co-signatories of a public letter say that our contentions are "wild, reckless and concocted allegations made by certain vested interests and people against Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba." http://www.saiguru.net/english/news/020927oppenletter.htm. Owing to Exposé leaders informing him well, the British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, has written a letter assuring the Hon. Tony Colman MP, that he will not meet Sai Baba, http://www.saiguru.net/english/news/ukwarns.htm. Strong national parliamentary action is being prepared in the UK and Australia.
Within a near-miraculous three days apart, the New York Times, Nov. 1, 2002 http://www.saiguru.net/english/news/021201nytafriend.htm and the International Herald Tribune, November 3, http://www.exbaba.com/articles/taroorsarticle.html ran completely different, most unbalanced stories favourable to Sathya Sai Baba; likely stimulated by his newly re-vamped propaganda machine. Shashi Tharoor who wrote the IHT story was formerly chief assistant to the UN head and a former Indian diplomat. Keith Bradsher was runner up to a Pulitzer Prize in journalism in 1987. With a lameness suggestive of the incredible unprofessional sloppiness for which NYT has recently been so thoroughly exposed, Keith Bradsher, in a five months’ overdue letter, has written to me, Tuesday, July 01, 2003 10:52 PM: ‘I had done two Internet searches before writing my story. While I found stories mentioning Sathya Sai Baba, I did not find any articles then mentioning the allegations. Last December, following notes from you and others, I alerted New York and our New Delhi bureau about the allegations, so we will be aware of them if new evidence surfaces or Sathya Sai Baba is in the news again.’ Was Bradsher blind? Anyone neophyte doing the simplest web search in recent years would have immediately seen references adverse to Sathya Sai Baba. Despite ignoring for five months the appeals made by both Sai Baba’s victims and supporters from around the world, Bradsher expresses no regret, nor show any desire to make amends for his chronically imbalanced article.
Recently, the American ex-astronaut Dr Brian O'Leary told us that he had, as a result of documentation Andries Krugers Dagneaux (Holland) and I had sent him, cancelled his appearance in Chennai, which would have highlighted Sathya Sai Baba, and that he was terribly sorry that his good name has been misused by Sai devotees, and promptly took action with those concerned, so as to prevent this attempt to co-opt happening again.
In the UK, four years ago, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Manchester stopped Sathya Sai Baba sect meetings, as have the authorities of the University College of London, Downey House public school, and Lord Wandsworth College. At Glastonbury, acting on documentation from a very eminent former devotee, the Catholic bishop banned from its premises the well-known Ramala Centre, founded by high-profile Sai devotees David Jevons and his wife.
By warning educational authorities and municipalities, we are stopping, the setting up of Sai schools. The Sai School in Hartford, Connecticut, USA, although fully sanctioned by education authorities to commence operation, was closed by the intervention of several activists who petitioned for its closure. So that they can cancel arrangements, owners of Sathya Sai Baba meeting venues, such as schools and community organisations, are shown the abundant evidence. This action constitutes defeat at the hands of the very communities the Sathya Sai Organisation would wish (for example, via its stealthy secular Human Values push) to win unto itself.
A new project is geared to put the facts at the disposal of renowned immensely influential ‘New-Age’ writers/educators, such as Dr Wayne Dyer, Dr Doreen Virtue, Dr Phyllis Krystal - and those publishers, bookstores and associations who promote their work - who write and speak favorably about Sathya Sai Baba. To note see the early effects of successful negotiations with the Unity Church, which extends throughout the world, and which has promoted Dr Dyer’s books
In Australia, we ensured the cancellation of the Sai National Conference scheduled at the University of Adelaide, April 18-25, 2003. The Vice-Chancellor appointed a senior staff investigator to explore the matter, and within the month cancelled venue, catering arrangements, and handed the money back. South Australia’s leading newspaper The Advertiser, Tuesday February 18, 2003, stated: ‘South Australian Sai Baba leaders say the allegations are unproven and plan to continue with the event, vowing to fight the university's cancellation.’ Sathya Sai conference spokesman Ken Soman told The Advertiser, `We have an arrangement with the university and we are paying the student union $30,000 to cater the event.' Again big Sathya Sai dollars refused to speak all languages. http://www.saiguru.net/english/news/030224univadelaidecancels.htm
Yet, for many weeks, the Sai Organisation maintained its Conference website, http://www.saiaust.org/speakers.htm (now withdrawn but fortunately archived on the http://www.exbaba.com and http://www.saiguru.net websites). None of the invitees agreed to attend as special guests. Yet for many weeks, the authors mentioned on the website, T. Sri Ramanathan and Ken Soman, claimed to have invited the Prime Minister, Premier, Lord Mayor and Roman Catholic Archbishop. The Lord Mayor told me that he had not in fact been invited! Michelle Virgo, the Chief Administrator for the South Australia Premier Mike Rann told me, "We did receive an invitation. We looked at it and said mm mm, no!" Archbishop Philip Wilson’s private secretary told me that, in response to our documentations, "The Archbishop is discussing the matter with his advisors: the Moderator of the Curia, the Chair of the Multifaith Group etc." She soon got back and reassured me that the Archbishop certainly would not accept any invitation by the Sathya Sai Organisation. The Advertiser also confirmed refusals of these same individuals to attend the conference.
In meticulously apprising the invitees of the allegations, including the offer of access to victims and their families, we supplied many professional references, including our highly credentialed sexual abuse counselors and an internationally eminent legal authority. No doubt following one of its typical modus operandi, the Sathya Sai Organisation, used the big names, spuriously, as an additional drawing card, and to add respectability to the event. High level patronage would look ‘good’ on subsequent booklets of the Sathya Sai Organisation, and help it ingratiate itself further into an unwary Australian community at large. Why, by the way, did the Sathya Sai Organisation not have the courtesy to include the Federal Leader of the Opposition, or distinguished religious leaders besides the Roman Catholic Archbishop?
In his public discourses, Sathya Sai Baba makes worsening bloopers – which he simply can’t hide. We can laugh, or cry, at his capers, even while his audiences, deserting all commonsense, applaud. In his article "SB and Christianity. Some Observations," the Australian Scholar Brian Steel has well exposed Sai Baba's anachronistic understanding of Judeo-Christian history: http://bdsteel.tripod.com/More/Jesus1.htm. Some of Sai Baba's pronouncements noted here are absolute howlers. For example, "Because of so many groups there, they all attempted even to harm Jesus. Romans on one side. Catholics on the other side. Luther on another side. There were so many groups that went on changing." By "many groups there," he means: at the time of Christ, which he gives as being 350 years before the time we understand Jesus to have lived.
Not least, he has made the most garbled, contradictory and unscientific statements about magnetism. http://www.saiguru.net/english/articles/56Bmagnetism.htm. In his public discourse March 13, 2002, he told thousands that his divine magnetism holds him to the ground, impeding his feet and hand movements: "So when I put My foot down, the whole foot stuck to the ground. It is a little hard to lift a foot that is stuck. Wherever I walk, it sticks there. Whatever is held, it sticks to My (sic) hand. This magnet is not in everyone like this. This magnet is so powerful only in Divinity." Sanjay Dadlani (q.v.) comments: he has worsening osteoarthritis! (To signify Godhead in their master, the capitalisation of personal pronouns is rife among Sai devotee writings).
Barry Pittard. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org