Sai Slurs, Part Five

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

Part Nine



Posted: Friday October 17, 2003

Author: Barry Pittard


The "ExposÚ Is Over"

For over two years, this statement has been on the Sai Critic website (a site spuriously named to focus the minds of those the Australian Sathya Sai Úlites call ‘waverers’ and to give the (untrue) impression that the website is on about critical thought. It was Chris Parnell, former deputy Spiritual Coordinator for Australia-Papua New Guinea, now its webmaster, who - before my ExposÚ activities became known to him! – gave me this information. He spoke of what he called a ‘high-powered waverer’s committee’ being formed within the SS Organisation in Australia, and how he had been asked to be on it.

Let us example the situation in Australia alone: Do they think the ExposÚ is over when their much-touted Sai School at Bonnyrigg in the state of New South Wales has had such difficulties in winning acceptance in the wider community? Do they think it is over when there is a sharp decline in attendance in many Sathya Sai centres, including ones run by Indians and Sri Lankans? Do they think it is over when the Vice Chancellor ordered them out of Adelaide University last April, 2003? Do they think it is over when last month (August) the Katoomba Christian Convention Centre, also after having become better informed, the Director, Mr. Michael Lin, has announced the cancellation of the annual Sai Youth Camp scheduled for October 2003?


A previous blow to them was the withdrawal by the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Flinders, in Adelaide too, from the September 2001 Human Values conference at Puttaparthi - an action in which I was also closely involved. Little do they know how many die-hard ExposÚ activists there are! Ignoring the large numbers of people leaving the organisation, and many others deciding not to join, it has been typical for both leaders and rank-and-file to assert that only two or three people have made the allegations - they like to name David Bailey and Connie Larsson.  


The Sathya Sai community’s exposure to the wider community’s moral commonsense waxes ever stronger, and their vexation will cease only when they face the accountability that faces the rest of us in an open society.


This fast-traveling phenomenon of exposure has been made possible by the intense, unremitting, organised campaigning of former devotees, often using the Internet. A great deal of ExposÚ activity has been at the international level - for example, in major world press, television and radio; with UNESCO and UNICEF; with government authorities such as the US State Department and Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Home Office and House of Commons; with several national law enforcement agencies; on dedicated websites; and with an online petition - the JuST Seekers of Truth (JuST) Petition: Let us also recognise the importance of grassroots actions. These include:


  • continuing research, documentation, analysis and dissemination which can properly inform those devotees questioning enough to sincerely ask us for information, or view it on places such as the Internet, as well as an international public, civil authorities, religious, social and education institutions which organised Sathya Sai Baba devotees try to cultivate and co-opt, etc.
  • informing interfaith groups, local councils, school principals, tertiary institutions and other venue holders of premises where the Sathya Sai Organisation meets or may plan to meet;
  • informing eminent or other persons of influence who professional Sathya Sai devotees typically attempt to cultivate and co-opt;
  • using television, radio talkback or other forms of radio;
  • sending media kits to local, national and international media;
  • provision of vital research and resource material to the well-frequented public venues, such as libraries;
  • at the same time, abiding by the laws of our countries and, above all, that we refuse to act hatefully no matter what provocations.

Provocations? One thinks of the threat to the lives of coordinators, not least potentially supported by Sri T. Ramanathan in his brutal posting of a private address on the Australian SS Organisation website meant to be known only to small sections of the government and the former devotee's closest kin; of litigation against ExposÚ leaders; of the constant stream of hatred by some of the more aggressive Sathya Sai Baba leaders and other devotees. All along have we heard, and from many who have recently quit the Sathya Sai Organisation do we continue to hear, that neither Sathya Sai Baba nor the leaders of his organisation do anything to counteract the voices of hate and of the proliferation of Sai Slurs against us. 


Fervent devotees of litigation such as Sri T. Ramanathan, Thorbj÷rn Meyer, J°rgen Trygved, are typical of their counterparts in many other cults, where threats, suppression and kangaroo courts are the order of the day. Their records of sly, manipulative dishonesty are all too known to well-informed present and former devotees alike. To see exposed the blindness, intellectual and moral dishonesty and in fact barely disguised nastiness, any rational person has only has to read Thorbj÷rn Meyer’s email responses to Robert Priddy, former co-founder and leader of the Norwegian Sathya Sai Organisation: ..\letters\emailexchange.html. Indeed, the performances of top Sathya Sai leaders regularly perplex so many in the rank-and-file. Of these Sathya Sai Baba hand-picked appointments, one has so often heard down the years typical comments such as “Swami must have his own reasons that go beyond human understanding” … “they have been put there to teach us to be patient and non-judgmental”… “It is Swami coming to us in his Shiva aspect” …


If this is a “Divine Organisation” to be in Hell were to be in very Heaven.