To Hon. Mark Latham, Federal Parliament, Australia



Posted: Wednesday, December 3, 2003

Author: Barry Pittard, Australia


Referred to:     

Mark Latham MP, was yesterday voted parliamentary Leader of the federal Australian Labor Party (ALP)

Laurie Ferguson MP, Shadow Minister for Citizenship & Multicultural Affairs

Simon Crean MP, who has just resigned the federal parliamentary leadership of the ALP 

In my letter to Mark Latham MP, I have Cc:'d - as well as the recalcitrant Laurie Ferguson MP - major ALP power brokers. Those of you who would like e.g., to send submissions to the Australian Labor Party Excecutive and parliamentary party, please feel free to contact me and I shall update you on developments and opportunities. We can anticipate that activist Sathya Sai Baba devotees and the Sathya Sai Organisation. (who we know monitor our websites) will attempt to counter with letters of their own. I am also writing to the President of the Australian Labor Party, Dr Carmen Lawrence MP, and the Federal Executive of the ALP. Should you wish to write to Dr Lawrence, her email address is:

Other addresses: Mark Latham,  Laurie Ferguson,

I emailed Laurie Ferguson on Sunday, 23 November 2003 6:52 PM, asking him never again to accept a Sathya Sai Organisation invitation as its guest, like the public rally on September 27, 2003. I referred to the criminal accusations made worldwide against SSB, pointing out that his organisation has a number of specific agendas about gaining community respectability by means of associating with a range of non-devotee individuals and groups esteemed in the wider community. I asked for his support along with other distinguished Australian leaders in ensuring that other leaders, such as those in the ALP, do not lend their moral support to an organisation which will not make itself morally accountable. Mr Ferguson's reference to "an email war" is all in his own imagination.

Barry Pittard, Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

----- Original Message -----

Sent: Monday, December 01, 2003 1:45 PM

Dear Barry

Obviously, I do not wish to be involved in an e-mail war over this matter.  On one hand, I do not know yourself.  Alternatively, I have many contacts in the Indian community whom I respect and who are not members of this group.  I will take their counsel as to my future connections with the group.

Yours sincerely

Laurie Ferguson MP
Federal Member for Reid
Shadow Minister for Citizenship & Multicultural Affairs


My letter to Hon. Mark Latham MP

(incorporating my reply to Hon. Laurie Ferguson MP).


Sent: Tuesday, December 02, 2003 4:40 PM

Subject: Ought Laurie Ferguson be permitted to support Sathya Sai Baba?


Dear Mark, 

Congratulations and all that... 

Meanwhile, along with approaches I shall be making to the Federal ALP executive, this is to request that you ensure that no other ALP Members act as naively as Laurie Ferguson has in this matter. Even as he wrote to me, I was engaged in discussions with a young cleric in Sydney (ed. information in orginal letter gave more detail as to which Church) who, from a victim's point of view, gives yet one more of hundreds of credible and shocking accounts of sexual molestation by Sathya Sai Baba, India's most famous guru, which makes Laurie's recalcitrance in this matter yet more culpable. The young cleric tells me that his (I might mention very powerful ecclesiastical sector) will support him to the hilt when we go public with his accusations, which is what I would have hoped for from Laurie Ferguson and certainly what I ask from you and the ALP as a whole. Barry Pittard. Sunshine Coast: 07 5442 9261. 

Dear Laurie, 

Out of consideration for how he may be feeling right now, I shall leave Simon Crean out of the Cc:, but I will note that he has been decent and attentive in this matter - for example, permitting John Cook to ensure that the South Australian Premier was privvy to proper information about Sathya Sai Baba, India's most famous guru - and most under seige of worldwide accusations. At this time, several South Australian leaders undertook to have no connection with Sathya Sai Baba's organisation, and, after appointing a high-ranking academic to investigate the allegations against Sathya Sai Baba, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Adelaide, Professor James McWha cancelled the Sai National Conference, April 2003, remitting some $30.000 to the conference organisers. Professor Ian Chubb, then Vice-Chancellor of the University of Flinders cancelled, in consultation with UNESCO (Paris), which also cancelled its a delegation to a high profile Sathya Sai Baba conference in September 2000.  

My contact with you has simply to do with surfacing facts, no matter how powerfully the attempt to do so is resisted by those who are simply ill-informed.  

On one hand, I do not know yourself.   

If you'd asked me to proffer further credentials (not to mention those of my distinguised colleagues in this), I would have obliged you on the instant. Instead, you went ahead regardless and lent the good image of the ALP to an organisation deeply enmeshed in controversy and damage control. 

Have the informants you mention scrutinised the integrity of the allegations against Sathya Sai Baba as have reputable public figures who took expert consultancy, to cite South Australia alone, such as Premier Mike Rann, Professors Ian Chubb and James McWha as Vice-Chancellors of their Universities, or Roman Catholic Archbishop Phillip Wilson or Lord Mayor Alfred Huang?  Do you think they are so easily gulled? 

Of your Sydney group of informants, you say: 

I will take their counsel as to my future connections with the group.  

I think that, when they are properly informed, the ALP will not want you to have "future connections with the group." Clearly, your view is entrenched, and I and my colleagues know nothing. Should I thank you for the polite compliment? I shall therefore, just for a start, offer to provide details to the Dr Lawrence and the ALP Executive of very senior members of the British Labor Party, including a previous Home Minister, who will support my points.  

One of my friends, who is intimately acquainted with the allegations against Sathya Sai Baba and at the pinnacle of the legal profession and has been a peak governmental advisor, will also gladly speak with the Federal ALP Executive of the points I have put. He is but one of many (including highly-qualified sexual abuse professionals) in various countries able to speak competently (clearly unlike your Sydney informants) about the many and shocking allegations facing Sathya Sai Baba and those who cover up for him.  

It seems perverse to me that you roundly assume that your "many contacts in the Indian community whom (you) respect and who are not members of this group" are necessarily better acquainted with the facts than I and others who have dealt with them intimately - at the level of the young males (and those who are now older) or their families who accuse Sathya Sai Baba and of national police, government and media - year after year.  

Quite apart from your refusal to look at the seriousness of the allegations of serial sexual molestation and other criminal allegations that Sathya Sai Baba faces, you run the risk, by your appearance last September 27 at a very public Sathya Sai Baba function, and by your words now posted on the Australian Sathya Sai Organisation website), of linking the good name of the ALP with an Indian guru who: 

* says that he is the father of Jesus Christ and that his mission is greater than that of all other historical world teachers

* says that he will save the entire world from the worst catastrophe

* says that he will, before he dies at the age of 96, harmonise all the conflicting religions ...

* bring peace to the world and then will return shortly after in another body (named Prema Sai Baba) to consolidate the work. 

Lamentably, the list goes much further than this, and never feels like true blue ALP 'theology'. 

I invite you to be intellectually honest enough to answer these questions: 

1. Have your informants seen the many affidavits alleging sexual molestation against Sathya Sai Baba (including at gross and terrible levels) that have been submitted, for example, to the FBI (Santa Ana, Chicago)?  

Or the testimony that has been presented to other law enforcement agents and foreign ministries around the world?  

Or the results of an enquiry into the allegations conducted by two political officers of the US State Department, and processed by no fewer than a dozen high-ranking State Department officials.   

Or corresponded with the senior United Nations officials responsible for the stringently-worded UNESCO Media Advisory about Sathya Sai Baba and some of his leading officials? See, 

( does not work anymore, but on Bibalex org we can still find the UNESCO Media Advisory)

2. Have they had extensive interaction - as I and a number of others have - with those males or their families who come from different parts of the world who make the shocking allegations against Sathya Sai Baba, and also against many leaders in his worldwide organisation who stand accused of failing in duty-of-care, and who, we have every evidence, have extensively covered up the allegations from the majority of members of the Sathya Sai Organisation (who are strictly told not to look at the Internet accounts or to listen to any adverse reports)? 


Barry Pittard. Sunshine Coast. Queensland. Phone: 07 5442 9261.