SATHYA SAI BABA IS ONLY FORMALLY INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY, BUT IS MOST DEFINITELY NOT CLEARED OF GUILT
By Robert Priddy
The standpoint that a person is innocent until proven guilty is generalization which clouds many issues concerning guilt and innocence. It is absurd to think that a person cannot be guilty before being proven so in a court of law. It is really only a formal principle about whether a person has been convicted or not. Sai Baba's critics are only too aware that no successful court proceedings have (so far!) been brought against him for his involvement in sexual abuse, pedophilia and complicity in murders. This does of course NOT mean that he innocent of any of these charges! Only devotees who do not want anything aired can believe such that this clears him of any of the many and weighty allegations lodged against him.
To take an example which highlights the principle here (without making other comparisons to SSB)... Saddam Hussein has not been proven guilty of anything criminal. But who does not understand that Saddam Hussein is guilty of murder and worse? The Belgian rapist/murderer went free for six long years despite millions demonstrating on the streets in Belgium for the case to be taken up (two very young girls were saved from this Belgian sex monster's cellar with their lives while others were not and starved to death there)? He was guilty of what he did even before there was legal proof! In his case, bringing him to justice when he has powerful accomplices was the problem. This is yet more the case with SSB!
Hundreds of known mass murderers have lived and still live around the world without being brought to justice and proven guilty of anything. Does this exonerate them, clear them of any actual guilt? Definitely not! Nor can SSB be absolved of responsibility before the laws of his land just because he has escaped justice so far. He may die having failed to clear his name, but he won't escape the judgement of history...far too many of his own published words and well-recorded actions - including many sworn testimonies – will ensure that. The social works done in his name (by other than him) will not save his reputation in the wider world any more than it did those of many other proven deceivers and criminals whose followers did good works in their countries.
When there is compelling evidence of SSB's putative guilt, as now - and highly credible accounts from so many people around the world - it is wholly legitimate to claim that SSB is guilty even before he is brought to justice. To make claims that someone has perpetrated crimes is a necessary and logical prerequisite to formally charging, let alone convicting anyone. This is no "lynch mob" mentality, as has been claimed by ardent SSB supporters. It’s a case of people rightfully asking for the recourse to justice. The US State Department is no “lynch mob” but it stated to the BBC in May 2004 that Sai Baba is the individual named in its travel advisory in Consular Information Sheet, November 23, 2001, where he was not named. That he was intended was clear from the start, but publishing his name could have had consequences for US-Indian relations in the absence of a conviction of SSB so far. This kind of State Department warning is never made without very adequate evidence. Likewise, UNESCO did not act without convincing testimony which they extensively investigated before withdrawing from an official educational conference in connection with SSB, as their recent official pronouncements to the BBC have supported.
According to the Sai spokesman G. Venkataraman on the Sai Radio ‘Global Harmony’ website, one of India’s UNESCO representatives and the Indian Foreign Minister managed to get a posting by the UNESCO Media Advisory deleted from the website after some years. The posting distances UNESCO from Sai Baba.
But the UNESCO statement has NOT been officially withdrawn in any public announcement and in NO WAY INVALIDATES UNESCO's action in issuing it originally! Further, UNESCO has assured the BBC that that they only deleted it a routine for updating and clearing the site. Further UNESCO stated to the BBC that they do not regret having posted it. The full documentation of this will be available as soon as possible on this website.
Another point, it is certainly not in any way illegal for any injured party to make such allegations against SSB at their own risk, as young men have bravely done in the public interest. Their testimonies can always be challenged in court for libel, but no such challenge has ever been made by SSB or his supporters. One can easily understand why! Some devotees claim that what these young men have done is wrong, even illegal, and have made clear they had preferred these young men had crept away and kept silent. What kind of justice would that be for them!
Indian students are by and large not ready to stand forth in public or raising a case against SSB for reasons wholly obvious to anyone who knows how power is exercised in India to the highest and lowest levels by SSB and his followers. Foreign devotees who manfully describe how they were abused, despite the vituperation that Sai people express against any such defectors, have surely learned enough about that country from experience and so are not going to submit themselves to the corrupt and violent police in most places nor to the huge uncertainties of Indian so-called justice... quite apart from persecution, job loss, estrangement from their family etc. Several prominent critics of Sai Baba have been attacked by hit men and some we know in India are in hiding. Such harrowing details are known to those few persons in whom they know they can safely confide, and all too often their situations are so extremely sensitive that they cannot stand forth without harming (or losing) others dear to them. Naive devotees from abroad like to believe that the law prevails in India and that the police are not mostly wholly corrupt, brutal and often in the pocket of politicians and other power brokers. For example, the Puttaparthi police are most evidently in the power of the Sai authorities, while at the same time the police chief there is a priviliged devotee.
There are moral laws, which are more fundamental than any system of law, particularly in power-corrupted India, where countless sectarian murders are universally known to go unsolved and often virtually uninvestigated. Supposed 'religious figures' get convicted and imprisoned in Indian courts for sex offences and murder. Their devotees, however, invariably insist that their gurus could not possibly be guilty and the trials must have been unfair, fixed, or due to political repression and so on. Unfair High Court convictions probably do occur, but hardly in more than a few instances. This denial syndrome has its own psychological and social explanation, of course. Sex abuse victims in India do not receive positive treatment from courts, to put the matter extremely mildly. Practically the whole Indian society is in a Victorian double-morale gridlock of taboos and suppression, both as to homosexual molestation and paedophilia (including child marriage etc.). These abuses can flourish there where no one can speak out and get a hearing without risking life and limb, slander and vituperation.
Those relatively few persons who have gained the full confidence of many of those who describe their being sexually abused by SSB have investigated those alleging abuse by SSB, have viewed, correlated and checked the massive evidence critically from all conceivable angles through years. Further, those who have the confidence of sexual assaulted young men and students (i.e. proclaimed ex-devotees) assure that far from all the gathered evidence has been made public so far, not least for reasons of security. In a nation without a corrupted government and judiciary etc., this is sufficient to demand that authorities take the matter seriously and see that proper legal investigations are carried out. Yet SSB has been so far able to remain silent on it all and hide behind his cronies and political leaders etc., which should be easy enough to observe and to understand.
Very few of more than a hundred individuals who bore office in the Sathya Sai Organisation who have registered that they left it due to disillusionment - some after several decades - have been able to be active in matters of exposure. There are many reasons for this. Firstly, it was a massive step to take after having been deeply - or almost totally - involved in the Sai movement, and having sacrificed major energies and financial and other resources to that end. One can only vaguely imagine what this involves psychologically, mentally and socially until one finds oneself in such a position oneself. Though I was far too old at age 50 to be sexually approached by SSB, my faith in him and what he claims about himself was abused most thoroughly. He is guilty of defrauding me (and the world) by lying on many matters, of which I have provided full proof on my website at http://www.saibaba-x.org.uk/enigma/. One sees there how I have, for example, received wholly independent expert testimony of a fraudulent 'materialisation' of an alleged 'green diamond' by Sai Baba and thousands of pounds money I have donated have largely disappeared into pockets without any receipt or explanation. It took me years before I was able to reach the point of realization what this implied, despite all the damning evidence that had been accumulating around me and forcing itself into my awareness.
A tough examination of the testimony and evidence - including filmed interviews - is open to everyone on the internet, and the ordinary person will find it most compelling in demonstrating SSB's guilt and cynical untruthfulness. Claiming omniscience, he once used to say that "Everyone and everything is Divine Spirit (Atma)". But he has changed his tune! Now it is 'demons' and 'Judases' vs. the 'divine' (i.e. himself). Once he distinguished between a person and his or her behaviour... but no longer! Once every living being has a ‘divine spark’ within, but no more… he denies that his critics have any divine spark! So much for HIS teachings. Major hypocrisy in action!
If 'demons' in human form were to exist (a primitive superstition in any case), would not those who caused through blackmail and cover-up (including SSB, who was present but avoided all questioning by any official body) the execution in cold blood of four devotees in SSB's bedroom qualify for the title? Or male sex abuse of underage boys, of which SSB stands very firmly accused? His true nature stands revealed: he is a fallible human liar – who says that his critics are acting for money. He is a conscious deceiver and manipulator. The moral burden of guilt lies most firmly on SSB for deceiving everyone for so long and so thoroughly. It is hardly surprising, therefore, that some of his most inflamed and low-minded followers call all critics liars or demons etc. and try to smear us with base and totally undocumented and unfounded sexual libels, or - as ex-International Chairman of the Sai Org., Indulal Shah spread around by e-mails- the bare-faced and totally undocumented lie that critics are acting on behalf of ‘vested interests’.
See also the Danish Sai Baba Expose website.