DONATIONS BY THE PRIDDYS TO SATHYA SAI CENTRAL TRUST - documentation
Counterfoils of some of the donations made (note: £3,000.- was donated in 1984 via our account at Bergen Bank, Oslo for which we did not keep the counterfoil.) The Book Trust book edition donation (ca. £900.-) was never acknowledged, but the books were sold by Mr. P. Suri at the Prashanthi Nilayam bookstore.
The main donations my wife and I made to Sathya Sai Baba's Central Trust (excluding on-the-spot donations for other projects - water project, narayana seva and £1,000.- to an independent Sai Baba service project which turned out to be fraudulent) were:-
1) £3,000.- my bank cheque in 1983 in time for the 60th Birthday Celebrations. (Sai Baba's nephew confirmed acceptance of the donation personally, but would gave no receipt and - in our devotion to the cause - we did not want one. A shame! We believed that donating was a secret pact between us and the divine, never to be publicised. We were taken in! Later, at his 70th birthday, Sathya Sai Baba presided over the announcement of the names of donors and the size of their sums).
2) £6,000.- sterling (see bank statement of payment in October 1988). US$ 7,000- to the Organization for apartment building (including the very brief annual use of two rooms) which was a very considerable sum in Indian rupees in 1997 (see receipt from Sathya Sai Central Trust below). By my calculation. this actually altogether amounts to around £15,000.- Sterling at the rates of exchange in force when the donations were made, and over 1 million Indian Rupees.
3) Further, the first edition of my pro-Sai book (The Source of Dream) was donated to the Sathya Sai books and Publications Trust, amounting in value to N. Kr. 9,000.- or around £900.- (at the current exchange rate). One thousand print-run, over 90% sold at the Prashanthi Nilayam bookshop at Rs. 50.- per copy. See scan on right:
4) Water project donation $420.-, equiv. over £200.- (receipt below)
5) US$ 7,000.- to the Sathya Sai Central Trust in 1997 (see receipt below). To pay this sum the equivalent was about N.Kr. 65,000.- from my bank. (Note too, a typo - an extra zero - when this page was made has been removed)
The sum of these donations [without the £1000.- or other extras] comes to over £13,600.-, which is equivalent to somewhere more or less a million Indian rupees. Please note that, when I have previously stated elsewhere the sums we donated, I did not then reckon on all the different donations we made. This I have now corrected. The exact values of the sums - donated sometimes in pounds sterling and sometimes in dollars - varies according to the rates of exchange at the different times. Therefore I have taken a fairly conservative average rate to estimate the total.
Not included here is a donation to a Sathya Sai Baba Seva Project £1,000.- (later proven to be unauthorised for collecting donations by the Sathya Sai Central Trust). Further to the above, my wife and I used many smaller sums of money to pay for running expenses on a regular basis to the Oslo Centre, which we organised almost single-handedly for over a decade.
See here the various documents proving the donations my wife and I (Robert Priddy) have given to the Sathya Sai Central Trust. Unfortunately, we never received a receipt for our first donation in 1983 for £3,000.-, which was sent in the post to Sathya Sai Central Trust. We did not keep the counterfoil of theis sum, though I tried to get confirmation from the Prashanthi Nilayam Public Relations Office (from Mr. Kutumb Rao) that it has arrived. He kept losing the counterfoils I gave him, three in all! (most likely on purpose, I now realise, as I was informed that embezzlements are known to have taken place in this way). At our first interview with Sathya Sai Baba, when I asked if I could make a donation, he did not mention knowing that I had already donated £3000.- (prior to and for the purpose of his 60th birthday). Deceived by his talk about purity and truth, I thought he would know about it through his paranormal powers! If he did know, it would have been from his office staff, who evidently keep a close watch on donors and poeential donors of more money!
Our largest single donation of NOK 70,000.00 (seventy thousand Norwegian kroner - then corresponding
to £6,000.- sterling), sent by registered mail. Though Mr. Narayanan (Head of the ashram) confirmed verbally that the sum was received, I was never honoured with
a receipt in this case either. See the counterfoil of the payment:-
And see also the following bank receipt showing the amount I deposited for cheque payment (via my bank's London valuta agents) for paying the Sathya Sai Central Trust altogether - NOK 86,011.- which included an extra £1900) from which for other donations to seva projects were made (a large Narayana seva at Prashanthi Nilayam & Brindavan etc.).
Below is the proof of another payment made - for the Rayaleseema Water
Project in 1995
The next and final donation we made was for US $ 7,000.- for the right to stay at Prashanthi Nilayam whenever we visited. By this time the Central Trust had begun to acknowledge by receipt donations for right to the use of a small apartment. However, when we went there in 1998, we were were limited to a stay of one month per annum, and it was said at the Accommodation Office that it would be reduced to 2 weeks per annum in future!! This scam made many others who had donated angry, especially US devotees who spoke to us about it.
Here is some further documentation of how the donations was
arranged with the Central Coordinator for Europe at that time, Mr. Bernhard