OUR MAN IN CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA
By: Robert Priddy
Our informant has sent us the following release from the SSO leader, Mr. T. Ramanathan, in Australia. It is interesting to note that Ramanathan sees the need for caution of what we set out in our e-mails. Otherwise it gives a rare glimpse into confusions of a semantic and conceptual kind that are intriguing but funny. Comments to some of the text are made in red after the relevant sentences.
For those who originally found Sai Babas stated complete disinterest in money and that the SSO need use no money, and carry out no soliciting of any kind for funds, the current regime is depressing.
RELEASE NO: 51.
E-mails on the subject of "money" and the Sai Organisation have evoked temptation to respond by some of our colleagues. (Why? Just the same old Sai Org. tight-lipped cover-up culture? It seems there must be something to hide in Australia.) We have to be cautious of what we set out in our e-mails, as we now understand that e-mails become freely accessible to the world at large and get registered in the "archives of cyberspace". (The present posting suggests that Ramanathan should have followed his own advice!)
These archives are maintained and will be available now and for years to come. In view of this, it would be prudent to reflect by good reasoning before we embark on e-mails.
We in Australia are now obliged to set out this release as it has been inadvertently and unfortunately brought "Australia" into the Discourse when Swami has not mentioned it when He set out the names of countries. (This confusing reference to an unidentified discourse is typical vague Prashanthi-speak, where one is made to say something, but cannot risk telling anyone what it is really about.)
The reason for including "Australia" although not cited by Swami is on the ground of the words "others" (countries.) The inclusion of the word "Australia" is erroneous as the word "others" should be interpreted to mean "similar to" the countries mentioned, (a weirdly and wholly ungrammatical substitution!) and it does not include every, and all the countries in the world not mentioned. The word "others" means of the same kind of nature and follows enumerated countries and the generality is limited by reference to the preceding particular countries and is to be construed as including only all other countries of the like nature and quality that is to say, those countries violating Sai precepts. (Who on earth can make any sense out of the above tripe? It seems likely, however, that SB has been making his usual unconsidered sweeping generalisations again, and Australia feels offended by him!)
The Australian Sai Organisation from its inception has strictly complied with all injunctions laid down by our founder Bhagwan Sathya Sai Baba regarding money matters in particular, and it would be correct for us to assert that the Australian Organisation is "cruising" a "bullet-proof" Organisation and hopes to remain that way. (A bullet-proof Organisation cruised by the Organisation? All this is patently absurd, not least since SB has laid down injunctions both for and against money matters time and again! Eg. To do service that requires little or no money and NEVER to solicit donations (while himself soliciting and asking for them via his Org. and in Sanathana etc.) Does not Ramanathan just want to be left alone to decide monetary matters without anyone elses interference. He doubtless wants to exercise what he has called, in a talk for SSO World Conference delegates, the unwritten constitution of the SSO (which is additional to the written rules and regulations and unstated). These practices, however, are not anything like the British system of unwritten laws with which he once fatuously compared it in a talk in 1996, for the Sai Org. has no centuries-old tradition behind it, no openness whatever, no checks or balances, no free debates or press investigations. It is a carte blanche for office-bearers to do whatever they wish unchecked, and in the case of dishonest office-bearers - things of the kind occasionally caught and punished by SB himself).
Money is required for Sai Projects, both in our respective countries and more particularly in India, where there are a number of charitable projects being conducted. (SB has repeatedly said that India does not need others money. He has told Central Coordinators this in the past. But he solicits not least in Sanathana Sarathi - for massive contributions to His water project and His hospitals. Recently he went begging to the World Bank and told us that they have agreed to give him everything he needs! The World Bank does not give such hand-outs, however. It lends to governments.)
It is our bounden duty to enhance knowledge of all Sai Charitable and Sai Service Projects in our countries by giving all concerned the opportunity to participate voluntarily without coercion and/or pressure, thus ensuring the uniqueness of fulfilling projects on voluntarily participation. (Why need this be stated? Coercion in a voluntary organisation? Well, yes, moralising and group pressures of all kinds amount to a kind of coercion in the Sai Org., and there is no openness or public accountability whatever either! So publish your full accounts, Ramanathan! And what is so "unique" about fulfilling projects? It is done all the time everywhere voluntarily! If you want to know more truly how it all works (behind the scenes) and read all the names named etc., follow my coming article series on exbaba.com: The Multi-Billion Dollar Question)
In regard to money matters, when any controversy arises, or allegations made that are not in keeping with Sai Principles, there is a course available to those in doubt namely to directly seek Swamis guidance through the International Chairman and the Deputy Chairman, who have access to Swami with regularity.
Sgd. T. Sri Ramanathan
Regional Central Coordinator
Satya Sai Organisation, Australia & Papua New Guinea.
8/84 St Georges Crescent, Drummoyne NSW 2047, Australia.
(It is interesting to note that only one name that is not of Indian or Sri Lankan origin among those listed as appointed office-bearers at the Australia National Review Assembly of Sai Activities held on 24/25th August 2002, (published in Release 50 from the man who signs himself as Sri Ramanathan. Have so many white Australian seen through things, then? Or does Ramanathan have his special racially-biased recruitment policy.)