After years of posting about the total unaccountability and basic untrustworthiness of the Sathya Sai Central Trust during which not a soul in India responded to my documented details or sound arguments, the authorities and the media there have at last taken the matter up, vindicating all my worst suspicions. Such well-founded articles as ‘Can We Trust the Central Trust’ by Serguei Badaev, the former leader of the Sathya Sai Organization in Moscow have been ignored by Indian newspaper editors of major newspapers there to whom they have been sent, and almost everyone else too! Devotees are indoctrinated and pressured to never think ill of anyone, or criticize anyone at all (as everyone is supposed to be God!) and especially not of Sathya Sai Baba or any of his officials! The current revelations about the total lack of external control or even filed information show just how damaging is this simplistic ‘three monkeys’ proverb that SB loves to reiterate (and devotees love yet more to parrot). As Barry Pittard had stated so pungently, this press cover-up or sheer laxity is a signal to most Indian media to buck up.
The Times of India continued:-.
“Official sources said that in 1980 the Sathya Sai Trust, which has Saibaba as its chairman, had requested the state government to grant exemption from statutory filing of reports to the endowments department, which was duly conceded by the then Congress government. As per the Indian Trust Act, trusts should submit a report to the state government concerned once at least every three years. However, thanks to the exemption granted by the state, the Sathya Sai Central Trust. a leading religious, educational and cultural organisation which receives large amounts of foreign donations, has been ﬁling only the foreign contribution report under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act to the union home ministry every year.
According to the union home ministry sources, the Sathya Sai Trust ﬁled its report for 2009 about three months back. As per the submissions, the Trust received Rs 95 crore as foreign contribution in 2003-04, Rs 47.7 crore In 1996-97, Rs 42.9 crore in 1997-98, Rs 39.8 crore in 1998-99 and Rs 50.2 crore in 1999-2000. In 2001-02, the trust received Rs 88.18 crore as foreign contributions.
Apart from this, the Trust also ﬁles income tax returns to the I-T department Since its inception in 1972, the Trust has been enjoying 100 per cent tax exemption. Another aspect of the Trust that the state government has been able o dig out during the last few days is that apart from the Sathya Sai Central Trust, there are several trusts ﬂoated by Saibaba to carry out various philanthropic activities. They include Shri Sathya Sai Health Trust, Kamataka, Shri Sathya Sai Trust, Karnataka, Sri Sathya Sai Books and Publication Trust, Mumbai, Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning.”
Since it was first started, the Sathya Sai Central Trust has both gained and lost a number of members – referred to as ‘directors’. Those who have either been dismissed by Sai Baba (for embezzlement and other corruption) include Mr. Prasdad of Bangalore, Colonel Joga Rao (Sai Baba’s main engineer and accomplice, removed for taking too many kickbacks from contractors). Mr. Narayan (former head of the ashram – sacked for having built a luxury villa in Bangalore he reportedly financed by embezzlement of funds).