Refuting An Allegation of Anti-Semitism

Date: 08-01-05

By: Barry Pittard.


A pro Sai Baba writer has stated that I deliberately posted my article ‘SATHYA SAI BABA EXPOSÉ: AN UPDATE’ on a holocaust denial website. In fact, I did not, and would never have done so. This article is an overview of the Exposé of Sathya Sai Baba and his international cult. It was first posted to in September 2003.
Since I wish to focus the issue and not deal in personalities, I choose not to name the individual involved. Former devotees who have spoken out about the allegations against Sathya Sai Baba and the cover-up by many of his foremost leaders and successive Indian governments commonly attract slander, distortion of our views, and false attributions regarding our motives. In my own case, because I will not trade ill for ill, I have constantly let many vicious attacks pass (and, for many months, including this one) but colleagues have persuaded me not to let an accusation of anti-Semitism pass.
In fact, my life has at all times been absolutely free from any taint of racism or anti-Semitism and from any knowing association with those who hold such evil views. I may add that one of the great attractions of Sathya Sai Baba to most of us, now former devotees, was his emphasis on non-discrimination on the basis of race, caste or creed. I gave no permission to put writing of mine on this website, of which I did not then know, and which contains views that I find profoundly repugnant.
Because an author’s article appears on a website it does not mean that he or she has therefore been consulted. It is difficult not to conclude that a writer who claims falsely that I was consulted has an agenda to hurt, harm and destroy my cause by means of linking me with an emotion-charged issue like the holocaust and the denial of it.
Before success in getting the webmaster of the offending site to take the article off, I made several attempts, both by email and phone to get him to do so. Much later, I discovered that yet another article of mine was posted on the site. I find that the postings occurred because another individual, with whom I had briefly corresponded on an entirely unrelated matter, who equally is no associate of mine, had passed my material along to this webmaster. That my attacker should assume that an author’s material cannot pass into other hands without his knowledge, would suggest either thoughtlessness or deliberate intention to discredit no matter what risk of injustice and the hurting of a person’s good name.
An worker, who was at some stage combing the Internet for Sai Baba related items relevant to exposing him, copied the page in question to entirely without my knowledge. Again, my assailant leaped to a worst-case, conspiratorial interpretation, not acknowledging that this occurrence can happen without an author’s knowledge. Since the original posting of my update article was on, this copying was superfluous. If the worker who copied it had actually read it before posting it he would have seen extraneous Adelaide Institute material on the same page that does not even belong to my article. Furthermore, the offending website’s spin on my article was evident in the title it put above it: “Parallels with Holocaust Believers is Striking.” Still further was the post mindless because the extraneous material on the same website had utterly no thematic (or moral and ethical) purpose to appear on The staff member has since granted that it was a serious oversight that it was posted, and has apologised to me, conceding the importance (indeed courtesy) of seeking an author’s permission, not to mention taking more than a cursory glance at what on earth they were copying!
Indeed, my own radio programme, “Collective Spirit,” reflected timeless values inherent in the great moral and ethical traditions, and won friends from many faiths, including leaders in the Jewish community. On one occasion, I heard two fundamentalist Christian presenters make an anti-Semitic reference on the community radio station I worked for. I made strong and immediate protests to the Management, and the offenders, who were unrepentant, were made to leave. Indeed, the then leader of the local Jewish community and her husband were complementary of my programme, and she had appeared on it at my invitation. What is more, they graciously had me in their home to share in a Jewish celebration during Pesach (Passover), and we are in touch to this day, as I am with other close Jewish friends, many of whose families perished in the holocaust, as did so very many families of my co-students at University. Over the years, I have similarly been drawn into a circle of friendship and sharing of Jewish ceremonies by those Sai devotees from Israel with whom I enjoyed such loving relationships. I dwell rather on such happy occasions than give further thought to my antagonist’s cruel and outrageous slander, but wish especially that those newly coming out of the Sathya Sai Baba cult will not be misled by the ugly and persistent slanders.