Many official and other closely associated prominent supporters of the Sathya Sai Organization have allowed - particularly since considerable exit from the organization commenced from circa 2000 – deplorable libel and misrepresentation of former devotees in many countries, including stalking of former devotees both on and off the Internet. The Sathya Sai Organization therefore apparently condones this intense underhand campaign of vilification against its former members who testify about and dissent from the devotees' proclaimed Lord and Master, Sathya Sai Baba. Evidence of this is given in web links below this document, and further evidence can be provided to bona fide investigators.
Further, two semi-official pro-Sai web sites - saibabaofindia.com/ and saibabalinks.org/ - which could not operate without the help of central officials of the Sathya Sai Organization, Radio Sai Global Harmony and Sai ashrams, have links to websites which libel all former members who have spoken out. Such links reveal the obvious inability of Sai representatives in these groups to reply honestly and cogently to any of the many published allegations about Sai Baba made by those who were long respected members, in some cases prominent leaders, of his international organization. Furthermore, some members link to extremist web sites which have as their primary agenda contrived attempts at character assassination of ex-followers who present critical views. The most prominent of such sites are examined here and here.
The Sathya Sai Organization and the Prasanthi Council have both failed to distance themselves from the massive and sustained sabotage attempt through a huge fabric of fraudulence in over 100 emails by Murali Krishna Yachendra. This former Sai student, and quite popular Sai College teacher and very close associate of ashram and Organization officials, is a cousin of a Raja of Venkatagiri (one of Sai Baba’s earliest devotees). This badly miscarried attempt to inflict damage on former devotees has long since been fully exposed in public by B. Premanand (in the 280-page book ‘Sabotage by Murali Krishna Yachendra' – see http://www.saibabaexpose.com/Yachendra/Premanand.htm). When Yachendra made a comment that Sai Baba's birthday would be his (Sai Baba's) "death day", Barry Pittard immediately contacted the head of Interpol at the Australian Federal Police. He also sent an alert note to the executive of the Australian Sathya Sai Organization, via its website, without courtesy of a reply. When, further, Yachendra attempted to extract large sums of money under false pretences, that information too was handed to Interpol, whose Australian head confirmed to Barry Pittard that the information had been forwarded to the Indian Police. In another development, the Governor of Andhra Pradesh asked the Superintendent of Police, Nellore and the Collector of Nellore District to investigate, and it was confirmed that Murali Krishna Yachendra's residence was visited by a senior member of the Indian police force, and compromising documents were found there revealing Yachendra's link with concerted international attempts to undermine those who speak out about the allegations against Sathya Sai Baba and his leaders.
Allowing such iniquitous methods of defending the Sathya Sai Organization's figurehead shows passive acceptance of such activities. This is especially so if indeed you regard Yachendra as not operating on your behalf - because Sai authorities and the Organization are normally very quick to denounce as bogus those who proceed as if invested with Sai Baba's authority, when they are not. An example is that you denounce people by name, in your official magazine Sanathana Sarathi, who have claimed to be invested with Sai Baba's (supposed) powers to heal or materialize, or to represent him in any other way.
Defaming former members who are in dissent further emphasizes the aggressive cultist nature of those in control of the Sathya Sai Baba sect - that is to say, those officials who claim they do not act without Sai Baba's approval. These web sites further link to other dishonest web sites - is not this all far removed from the spiritual and ethical teachings of Sathya Sai Baba?
Will your Organization continue to condone these flagrant violations by your members and libelous defenders in various countries? If not, how can the general public - or even Sai followers - be expected to view the Sathya Sai Organization’s conduct in these regards as other than serious misconduct and failure of accountability and transparency? You cannot avoid the charge of being a closed, clandestine cult until you openly investigate and comment on the many responsible allegations and criticisms confronting your Organization. Your rank-and-file members have every right to hear from you the truth, and not to endure both concealment and false depictions from you as to why law-abiding, honest and community-serving former members have, over many years, raised various types of serious allegation against Sai Baba and certain of his core leaders.
We suggest three likely main reasons why you have not moved to remedy wrongs that are all too obvious to reasonable and upright members of the public far removed from cultic and antidemocratic modes of thinking and conduct:-
1) Sathya Sai Baba forbade Dr. Michael Goldstein (the top official of his worldwide institutions) to allow any discussion of the allegations – thus rejecting all principles of accountability and transparency. For many years, no official in the Sathya Sai Organization was allowed even to mention these serious matters in public, but for the very brief and severely skewed comments of your former international chairman Indulal Shah (India) and T. Sri Ramanathan (Australia).
2) In view of the severe fall-away of adherent numbers and consequent threats to his formerly immense global financial donor base, Sai Baba could not afford that the facts be aired and discussed. This was the case until the pressure was so great that he made an exception and attempted ‘damage limitation’ via several newsletter webpages on the Radio Sai Global Harmony web site by your Deputy International World Chairman, and head of Radio Sai, Dr. G. Venkataraman.
3) The testimonies and criticism are so substantial and wide-ranging - and so well-documented - that it is impossible to make any reasonable defence against them. This was well demonstrated by the insubstantial, issue-dodging and often directly untruthful writings by Dr. G. Venkataraman of the Prasanthi Council, Deputy World Chairman of the International Sathya Sai Organization, and head of Sai Global Harmony via WorldSpace digital satellite radio. He cast many serious slurs on the integrity of former devotees, after they dissented. All his untruths have been soundly refuted with documentation at this location:-
If the International Sathya Sai Organization chooses not to reply to this letter - or act upon the issues spelt out for them - it will be taken as further and definitive proof that both you and your founder wish to remain unaccountable, and also are content to be in collusion with vicious libelers.
Signed by the following former Sathya Sai Organization leaders and members:
Serguei Badaev, Russia 1995-2001 Ex-President of Sai Org. Moscow Centre and Deputy National Chairman for Russia.
Timothy Conway, USA. Follower for 22 years; President of the Sathya Sai Baba Center of San Francisco from 1982-4.
Dennis J. Hanisch, USA. Follower for 27 years. Founder member and Vice-President, Seattle Center.
David. J. Lyons, USA. Follower from 1981 to 2000. Ex-President of the Center of Greater New Orleans.
Barry Pittard, Australia. 1976-1999. Former English Lecturer, Sathya Sai College, Whitefield.
Robert Priddy, Norway. 1983-2002. Founder member/Ex-Chairman of Oslo Center & Coordinator for Norway 1986-1996.
Reidun Priddy, Norway. 1983-2000. Founder member and Seva Wing Coordinator 1986-1998
Al Rahm, Office-bearing member of the SSO for decades. Regional Devotional Coordinator and founder of first Education in Human Values school in the U.S.
Barbara Shocket, USA Follower: 1980-1990.
Dhyani Jo Sinclair, Canada Member and Sai Centre Secretary, 1995-2000.
Further relevant reading:
Letter sent to the Prashanthi Council two years ago - totally ignored by them, showing their unwillingness to be accoutable to the public.
More misleading web writings by Sai-Baba defending internet libeller
Another uncontrolled female Sai Baba devotee's mud-slinging indecencies