Barry Pittard's May 12 Letter

to New York Times




From: Barry Pittard


Cc: Glen Meloy at

Sent: Monday, May 12, 2003 11:55 AM

Subject: Keith Bradsher's and NYT unchecked Sathya Sai Baba article

To Senior Executives, New York Times.

Will the New York Times continue to treat the Keith Bradsher-NYT-Sathya Sai Baba issue as though it did not exist?

I ask that you forward a copy of this email and my article (Viewing Past Bradsher’s Puttaparthi) contained in it to your Chairman, Arthur Sulzberger Jr., and to inform me that this has been done. I and others such as Glen Meloy have written to Mr. Sulzberger and other Senior Executive staff at NYT, and many of our colleagues, former followers of Sathya Sai Baba, round the world have written to your Chief Editorial Staff and senior management, and met resounding silence. My letter to Keith Bradsher fared no better. It would seem that you share with the global Sathya Sai Baba Organisation a culture of terrible silence in the face of terrible complaints.
Many of my colleagues who have written to you on the matter come from a wide variety of academic and other professions, they all report that NYT has not responded. How rude! How intellectually and socially irresponsible! Five months have passed.  Now, other serious complaints about the NYT have erupted, which make the same accusation of gross failure by the leading executives of NYT to check story sources, and insist on the highest standards of journalistic ethics and practice.

Our core concern is that NYT has seriously failed in its duty to check its story sources in the case of much responsibly submitted information about Sathya Sai Baba. Given the seriousness of the accusation, your lack of response displays contempt and utter disregard for the feelings of a great many individuals and families in many countries, who accuse this most famous and powerfully influential Indian guru of sexual molestation of minors and young men, not to mention other allegations of complicity in major crimes, such as a series of local police mafia-like executions inside Sathya Sai Baba's personal chamber, in his close proximity, in 1993.
I submit as documentation for your careful reading an article that I am still writing:   Viewing Past Bradsher’s Puttaparthi. It takes serious issue with the Keith Bradsher article on Sathya Sai Baba, of December 1, 2003.
I now request that a senior representative of NYT gets in touch with me, first by email, so that we can organise times for any phone conversation and agree on a fair and reasonable way forward.  There are determined, well-organised former devotees of Sathya Sai Baba - among whom are to counted many with shocking accounts of sexual molestation of boys and young men, and their families and supporters - who will not rest until we see the NYT begin to play fair in this matter, instead of evade the many serious attempts to inform it of the charges (with well over a hundred affidavits with the FBI and State Department alone), and many other submissions to other national police forces, diplomatic Missions, governments, and parliaments.
Barry Pittard, Australia

(Personal contact details submitted)





Barry Pittard's Further Letter to New York Times




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

From: Barry Pittard

To: Ex Baba 

Sent: Wednesday, June 04, 2003 4:09 PM

Subject: Barry Pittard's Further Letter to New York Times

Note to readers of:

My letter to the New York Times of May 12, 2003 (which I have posted on Exbaba, Tuesday June 3) was, typically, unresponded to.  We have sent them impressive documentation, so they cannot but recognise the sheer scale of the allegations, and the standing as worthy citizens of their countries who are making them, of the worldwide accusations against Sathya Sai Baba and the vast coverup by the top leadership of the world Sathya Sai Organisation.  

To avoid too much repetition of points familiar to many Exbaba readers, I have in this post cut down the length of my June 4 letter to the NYT.

It will be good for many people reading our letters relating to the New York Times and Keith Bradsher's terribly deficient article in the edition of December 1, 2002, to copy them to newspapers and other media all over the world. Let us not be unduly concerned about any overlapping of effort - there are thousands of outlets to whom we can forward this material - and nothing wrong with sending such material to your own local media.  Sooner or later, it gets picked up. Our persistence is our absolute strength.  

Barry Pittard




Cc: Glen Meloy

To: Chief Executives, New York Times  
Please ensure that your Chairman, Arthur Sulzberger Jr, and your legal representatives receive a copy of this present email.

Keith Bradsher and NYT must be held accountable for proper journalistic codes of ethics and of source checking. Bradsher's NYT article on Sathya Sai Baba - December 1, 2002, A Friend in India to All the World - has not been responsibly researched. It is extremely offensive to the many boys and young men, and those who allege still other crimes, and in some cases tragic victimhood  at the hands of Sathya Sai Baba, and cruel refusal of duty of care by his organisation, along with massive coverup.

Please do not think that the matter will be allowed to rest.

Clearly, Bradsher's fundamental lack of checking, along with that of his New York Times Editors, cannot but add to the present widespread doubt by both the public and the journalistic profession  about the exercise of proper journalistic standards within the New York Times.

Had Bradsher and the NYT checked, they would have noted the dissent against Sathya Sai Baba, and that the allegations have been investigated by some of the world's most reputed journalists, such as Dominic Kennedy and Mick Brown, along with their research teams.

A glance at Media sections of a number of websites, such as and would have evidenced the many countries where concerned citizens have persuaded the serious media to research the allegations properly, such as:

Australia (The Age), Canada (Ottawa Citizen, Toronto Star, Vancouver Sun), Denmark (BT),  Chile (Gatopardo), Germany (Bild, Focus), Holland (Trouw), India (India Today), USA. (, UK (Times of London, Daily Telegraph), Sweden (G÷teborgsposten), … National broadcasters have featured the exposure of Sai Baba in: Denmark (on radio news and talkback, and thrice on TV), Norway (twice on TV) and UK (BBC Radio) and Australia (ABC Radio), as well as Argentinia (Azul TV) and Dutch radio and TV. There are some upcoming, major media exposures. One will feature international expert assays of some of Sai Baba so-called miraculous materialisations, which show that he, who claims to be the fullest embodiment of God who has ever visited the planet, has faked materialisation of objects. Early last year, Danish Broadcasting aired ějvind Kyr°'s 50-minute documentary on the Sai Baba ExposÚ, "Seduced," soon to be aired by a major world broadcaster, who have assured us that they are fully committed to its broadcast.  

Had you checked, you would have seen the intellectual rigor of enquiry, for example, in the websites of distinguished academics such as Robert Priddy (Norway) and Brian Steel (Australia)

If you had checked with any of the international co-ordinators of the exposure of Sathya Sai Baba and his cult we would have given you first hand testimony of our contacts with Interpol, CBI of India, Scotland Yard, FBI, the French and German national police, the Australian Federal Police, and many national police forces and governments, and that our concerns about Sathya Sai Baba have been voiced in the British House of Commons: and that the matter has gone all the way to Prime Minister Tony Blair: News. Tuesday February 18, 2003.

I assure you that there is widespread and strong feeling among both alleging victims and their supporters of betrayal by the NYT. First, because you printed the adulatory article by Keith Bradsher (which is exacerbated by the fact that he is a high-profile writer), and second, because you were utterly unresponsive to the many letters of protest and documentation sent to you from around the world by people from various cultures and backgrounds, including sexual abuse professionals. 

Why should you be oblivious to responsible accounts of horrendous police executions in Sathya Sai Baba's Bedroom, in 1993, while he was nearby, still the acknowledged autocrat in his own realm? See, and

In a moment's search you would have seen the petition by the Sai Baba ExposÚ  group (JuST), which uses a professional public Petition website, 

I request you to tell me: Is it wise of the NYT to headline that Sathya Sai Baba is a 'Friend to All the World' when, had Bradsher and you checked, you would have found vast amounts of evidence to the contrary.

I ask:

  • That you hold Bradsher and yourselves accountable 

  • That you publish a retraction of Bradsher's deeply offensive article 

  • That you apologise to those in many countries round the world, especially those who have courageously come forward to the media, police and government agencies in making the allegations against Sathya Sai Baba, and individuals (including those once holding responsible office in the Sathya Sai Organisation) who accuse the leaders of his worldwide organisation of a massive coverup of the allegations

  • That you give our voices of dissent proper opportunity to present our case in the pages of the NYT 

We shall continue to pursue this matter vigorously. Do you wish to be sued for millions of dollars in a single scenario?  Where, for example, a young male reads Bradsher's laudatory article, and, on the strength of it,  visits Sathya Sai Baba, only to emerge relating his personal account of being sexually molested, adding thereby to hundreds of sexual molestation allegations against Sathya Sai Baba.

You may also be asked:  How much did the Sathya Sai Baba's people pay the NYT and Bradsher to print the article? No investigator or prosecutor might wish to miss the opportunity to note the  fairytale-like 'co-incidence' that another two days later another article favourable to Sathya Sai Baba appeared in the International Herald Tribune, redolent of a propagandistic attempt by the exeedingly powerful Sathya Sai Organisation's typical use of its power and influence. For it now has to salvage what is left of its founder's reputation, all the more desparately because assailed by many former Sathya Sai Baba devotees who, all their lives, have been notable for a strong inclination to tell the truth, no matter the odds.

Please respond to my communications this time, and indeed respond honestly.
Barry Pittard, Australia
(Private contact details given)





Keith Bradsher, New York Times,

Responds to Barry Pittard





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

To: Ex Baba

Sent: Wednesday, July 02, 2003 5:31 AM

Subject: Keith Bradsher, New York Times, Writes to Barry Pittard

Posted:  July 2, 2003 Author:  Barry Pittard.

References:  Keith Bradsher's article in New York Times, December 1, 2003: 'A Friend in India to All the World'  Email from Barry Pittard to Keith Bradsher, December 9, 2002  Letter from Barry Pittard to New York Times, December 3, 2002  Dec 4 JuST (Just Seekers of Truth co-ordinators' letter), and Brian Steel letter to Keith Bradsher, Dec 4, 2002  Letter of Regret to the New York Times. Barry Pittard, December 8, 2002  Letter by professional sexual abuse therapist, Elena Hartgering to New York Times, Dec 10, 2002  Barry Pittard's May 12 Letter to New York Times  Glen Meloy's letters to Bill O'Reilly, Fox TV, Fri, 16 May, and letter to Executives New York Times, May 31, 2003: WHEN ARE YOUR EDITORS GOING TO RESPOND TO THE MANY EMAILS SENT TO THE NEW YORK TIMES? 

Note to readers:

For seven months - to our rain of letters from around the world - a glacial wall of frozen silence from Keith Bradsher and the New York Times!

We have not let up. Like the Royal Canadian Mounties, the ExposÚ intends to get its man. Now two New York Times men have come out of the bush.

Since the December 1, 2002 article, 'A Friend in India to All the World,' neither its author Keith Bradsher, the almost Pulitzer Prize-winning senior staffer of the New York Times, nor any of several of the newspaper's most senior Executives has responded, until days ago. Startlingly, a senior NYT executive, Bill Borders, wrote a brief and highly unsatisfactory reply to one of our colleagues, who I shall leave to deal with the matter, and just an hour or two ago, and just an hour or two ago, extremely belatedly, came Keith Bradsher's response to me. Vastly overdue. Again unsatisfactory.

I leave the Exbaba reader to consider:  

1.  Is it possible that NYT staffers (at least the Indian ones) at the New Delhi Bureau knew nothing of the long-time controversialness of Sathya Sai Baba. Does that Bureau contain no Indians, and only cowboys?! 

2. Is it rather the case that the Puttaparthi propaganda machine (which we know to have recently been revamped) has fed the story to NYT staffers in New Delhi, who are either:

- Sathya Sai Baba devotees, 

- admirers of his,

- or indeed, in that immeasurably corrupt country, have received baksheesh from certain Sai Baba's operators?

And who provided the photographs to the NY Times? Was it not Sathya Sai Baba's chief interpreter, who is at the pinnacle of Sai Baba affairs?  Professor Anil Kumar. See the name underneath the photos that accompany the New York Times article.

3. How come the incredible closeness of two articles, Bradsher's in the New York Times on December 1, 2002 and Shashi Tharoor's also favourable article in the International Herald Tribune:  "Meanwhile: Old mantras and new software side by side" December 3, 2002?  Not bad, hard-at-heels coverage for a guru who has scarcely ever been mentioned in the U.S. press. 

4.  What is Keith Bradsher doing apologising to me for many months delay in his response, instead of apologising to the hundreds of victims of Sathya Sai Baba and their families and friends for Bradsher's unbalanced, unchecked and uncritical article?

5. Do Bradsher or the New York Times not understand that their failure to redress the imbalance by sometime soon publishing a balanced account could lead to legal action by the next US victim?

6. Why, after all these months the holding up, in such close proximity and so recently of a tiny, if withered olive branch by two senior staffers of the New York Times, Keith Bradsher and Bill Borders?

7. Is it conceivable that Keith Bradsher is so unfamiliar with search engines, and even quick search methods, that he could in a month of Sundays have missed the plethora of adverse, responsibly-made commentary on the web relating to Sathya Sai Baba? Please do the search exercise yourself, and test whether your eyesight is ok and if self-respect and commonsense are alive and well! Remember, this is the famous man who researched the Suv motor car scandal, and a Pulitzer Prize finalist!

8.  Is the feeble research effort by Keith Bradsher symptomatic of the profound culture of sloppiness that has been so recently and mercilessly exposed in the New York Times?

Barry Pittard





Date: Tue, 01 Jul 2003 20:52:26 +0800

To: "Pittard, Barry"

From: Keith Bradsher

Subject: response

Dear Mr. Pittard:

Thank you for your notes. I appreciate your bringing to my attention the allegations that have been raised against Sathya Sai Baba, and I apologize for my delay in responding. I had done two Internet searches before writing my story.

While I found stories mentioning Sathya Sai Baba, I did not find any articles then mentioning the allegations. Last December, following notes from you and others, I alerted New York and our New Delhi bureau about the allegations, so we will be aware of them if new evidence surfaces or Sathya Sai Baba is in the news again.


Keith Bradsher




Here is my original letter to Keith Bradsher:



From: Barry Pittard


Sent: Monday, December 09, 2002 10:50 PM

Subject: Your Article Dec.1. NYT on Sathya Sai Baba

Dear Keith,

Not so great as the fame (symbolised in the felicitously named "Bradsher bars") as you have achieved in so gutsily exposing the SUV motor car is another fame your have achieved as of a week ago, among perhaps millions of followers of Sathya Sai Baba, and many hundreds of his grievously dissenting former followers.

This is by virtue of your article "A Friend in India to All the World" in the New York Times, December 1.

No doubt, in your writing it, virtue indeed was more than intended, and although a great many former followers of Sathya Sai Baba are - with sometimes tragic reason - upset by it, it is a humbling thought that we former followers of his were, and for a great deal longer, far more enticed by him than your were in your highly laudatory article on him.

I and many others have sent much documentation to the senior executives of NYT showing quite another - and inexpressibly unsavoury side - to Sathya Sai Baba, India's most controversial guru, and his profoundly implicated associates in, as we aim to show, most dire crimes. These include not only his vast scale serial sexual molestation of boys and young men from around the world but also involvement in murders, and in cover-ups, and lack of accountability on a staggering scale.

Some of this you will see expressed in our Petition calling for official investigation of Sathya Sai Baba, at: For much documentation, including by academic researchers of distinction, you may also consult and

I am going through reviews of your High And Mighty—The World’s Most Dangerous Vehicles And How They Got To Be That Way. I see the obvious - that it is a work in the grand tradition of Ralph Nader, one of my formative heroes. Therefore, I trust that we can have a mutually informative interaction, as I and many others go very hard at your article, and at what we believe to be your and the NYT's awful incaution in letting it through despite the manifest availability of responsible dissenting evidence against Sathya Sai Baba.

Barry Pittard





Barry Pittard Replies to Keith Bradsher





Posted: July 3, 2003

Author: Barry Pittard 


Note:  My reply to Keith Bradsher of the New York Times sent July 2, 2003, responding to his of July 1, 2003. I separately I wrote to Keith Bradsher letting him know that I may have to give a more detailed reply to him after I have returned from some travel interstate. 

Barry Pittard 


I have Cc.'d you in a post I've just made to

I really trust that you will read through it and take the points in a good spirit.

I think it was in a moment of poetry that I Cc'd Bill O'Reilly of Fox.

Just for fun - how bout you throw the terms Sathya Sai Baba into Google or whatever SE and see how much that's adverse to SSB comes up. It is a fair test is it not?

I have to tell you that I am mighty intrigued by the close appearance of your article and that of Shashi Tharoor - only a couple of days apart!

We have many affidavited victims of SSB, including with the FBI, and the State Department has reams of excellent documentation, and some dozen senior officers in it have worked on the SSB matter.

One of my acquaintances, ... (editorial note: the name of one of the world's leading policemen has here been confided to Mr. Bradsher) said to me that the Sathya Sai Baba matter would have to be "the case of the century." If NYT hasn't got close enough to see this, then it simply ain't looking.

It is a huge one, Keith - and a piece of deception by SSB and his cohorts that to the power of several tens exceeds a peccadillo like Operation Double Cross in WW2.

One of your great journalistic elders, the ex-pat Australian journalist Phillip Knightly has confirmed to me my recollection that he visited SSB way back in the late seventies - he said he was curious. A curious reply ...

Maybe get some of your New Delhi bureau celeb spotters to give you a run-down on just how incredibly many VIP's from all round the world visit SSB. I can give you an interesting list, should you be interested. Hell, your staffers there aren't SSB devotees, are they?!

"...if new evidence surfaces or Sathya Sai Baba is in the news again."

If???  It regularly surfaces, but we cannot always bring it into the forefront without journalistic assurances that our witnesses will not be exposed. They have been through hell!  In some cases, we have the whole witness protection issue to consider. Mick Brown of the Daily Telegraph, UK, and ějvind Kyr° of Danish Broadcasting were exceptional, in that they won, by both their intellect and emotional sensitivity, the respect of both witnesses and their advocates.

Anyway, what took you so long to reply? Is there subtle or other pressure on you there?  Did you know that Bill Borders wrote to one of us just the other day - again, after an eternity? 

Barry Pittard.