Sai Slurs, Part Four

Sai Slurs / Part One / Part Two / Part Three / Part Four / Part Five / Part Six / Part Seven / Part Eight /

Part Nine


Posted: Friday October 10, 2003

Author: Barry Pittard


The authoritarianism and cover-up from the very top are to be seen, too, in Indulal Shah’s directive (September 18, 2001) to high office-bearers in the Sathya Sai Organisation that discussion of allegations against Sathya Sai Baba appearing on the Internet and elsewhere be banned in Sathya Sai Baba centres worldwide. Shah says, "Certain vested interests are
alarmed by the continued and rapid spread of the glory and grandeur of Sai Avatar throughout the world and have therefore embarked on these spiteful efforts which are of course bound to fail."


Conveniently ignoring the fact that many Sathya Sai Baba devotees in good standing have sought, in all heartbreaking sincerity, guidance from top Sathya Sai officials, Indulal Shah refers to those who raise questions as: "innately false and devious," "spiteful," being engaged in "calumny," "insincerity and subterfuge." Such individuals "begin to criticise Bhagawan and even spread malicious and baseless stories ... History does not forgive such perfidious individuals who can stoop so low as to find fault with the divine itself."


As if Sathya Sai Baba's angry Christmas discourse of 2000 had never been delivered - replete with its own nasty Sai Slurs about our being “cawing crows,” “demons,” and thousands of “Judases” with no possibility of karmic redemption - Indulal Shah relates that, "Bhagawan takes no notice of these blasphemous reports." As we know from the documentation of upright former Sai Organisation officials such as Dr Timothy Conway  (former co-founder and centre leader, Santa Barbara, USA), Indulal Shah sent a circular (June 8, 1993, with a follow up letter on June 14,1993), following the police killings at Puttaparthi, forbidding any discussion within Sai centres of these events.


Sathya Sai Baba's absolute fiefdom extends to his millions of organised devotees in almost two hundred countries, who are blinded to the need for critical thought and compassion. In time, they will have to reckon with the fact that his very large numbers of dissenters are blameless citizens who, on behalf of hundreds of boys and young men - whose lives have been shattered - call out for official investigations. To name but one instance, the hundreds of petition signatures from many parts of the world in the JuST (Just Seekers of Truth) petition reflect the seriousness and cross-cultural nature of the dissent:


Well before April 1999 when the organised unmasking of Sathya Sai Baba by former devotees began, Dr Terry Gallagher, an agricultural scientist, a courageous and determined investigator into the allegations, resigned from his role as Spiritual Coordinator for Australia and Papua New Guinea. Other outstandingly articulate individuals of conscience also asked utterly fair and reasonable questions, and for openness. Two examples are Stephen Carthew, a documentary film maker, who was until late 1999 the South Australian Spiritual Coordinator and Serguei Badaev, a college teacher, who was the Russian National Coordinator and National Sathya Sai Education in Human Values Coordinator and head of the Moscow Sathya Sai Centre. They too stood up for proper investigation of the allegations, but were mercilessly cast out by the apex leadership – by T. Ramanathan in Australia and by Indulal Shah, Steen Piculell, and Thorbjörn Meyer in the case of Russia. Certainly, the organisation’s closed, authoritarian nature reminds one of soulless Commissars and their retinue of mindless apparatchiks.


Is it right that any follower of any teacher should cover up, in the face of serious evidence, responsibly made, strongly affidavited, repeated and widespread allegations that their teacher has committed sexual abuse and other crimes? Yet the Sathya Sai Organisation's profound cover-up is a dilemma in which those often lovely individuals we once rejoiced to call ‘Sai sisters and brothers’ are caught. Constant reports from wider local communities around the world increasingly show that Sathya Sai Baba’s devotees are now being exposed for their blindness. Unlike those who suffer from the dictatorial fiat which forbids devotees to discuss the allegations or to access the websites dealing with these matters, many from other spiritual and community groups access our websites and are well-informed. In country after country, it now becomes ever more socially embarrassing to be identified with Sathya Sai Baba. Should anyone doubt the truth of this sea-change, simply ask around in your local communities. It is quite wonderful how far the word has spread, and - given a number of excellent Exposé projects coming up - will increase to no end …