The making of BBC’s film “The Secret Swami” and key unpublished facts
Posted by robertpriddy on November 5, 2013
The following mail containing vital information concerning the making of the BBC film “The Secret Swami” in 2004 is at least of historic interest. It was fowarded to me by an exposé activist. Though it was confidential at the time, there is no reason to suppress these facts any longer. The mailer was Basava Premanand, India’s former chief rationalist who was honoured by the government with its highest award for the promotion of scientific values among the public. He was one of the BBC’s chief contacts in India in the preparation and making of the film “The Secret Swami”, and the previously unpublished information in his mail throws light on the process and editing of the film.
NOTE: The links and purple text inserts within the mail have been inserted by me, Robert Priddy, for those who do not know to whom or what Premanand was referring. Eamon
Sent: Wednesday, May 05, 2004 12:12 PM
Hereby I am acknowledging the mail of:
1. email from Glen dated 2.5.2004 sent at 11.12 pm Re: John Purcell (Glen was Glen Meloy, one of the first disaffected after 1999 who helped the BBC greatly in the USA. John Purcell was an outspoken youth having been sexually abused by Sathya Sai Baba when still a minor)
2. email from Barry dated 2.5.2004 sent at 10:24 pm Re : John Purcell
3. email from Barry dated 2.5.2004 sent at 3:44 pm Re: Eamon confusion, Future Co-production ideo, BJP questions – Siddharth Sharma and any Jesuit – Hindutva Problem?
I am replying to your questions one by one. On 29.4.2004 Eamon and David Savill (note: Eamon Hardy, director and David Saville, producer) have written to me that he can fly over to India if I want him to in May. I replied them that due to election it would be difficult to find Police Officers as they will be very busy in election duties. And if the government in Andhra changes they will be able to speak freely as they will have to be very careful of Naidu (N. Chandrababa Naidu Chief Minister for Andhra Pradesh) who may put them to problems. Though it may not be possible for the government to dismiss them they will be harassed much.
The Interviews BBC didn’t film:-
1. Meeting Ravi who escaped from murder along with Vijay Prabhu to get the present addresses of the youths seduced by SSB.
2. Exposing Gopalakrishna Baba who claims to be a female and SSB the only male and that he is a Pathivrata. He was a bed mate of SSB. (Gopalakrishna Baba lived in a small Sai Baba temple in Bangalore)
3. Exposing Vibhuthi falling from SSB’s photographs at Karwar which was mishandled by Eamon Hardy.
4. Interviewing Mr. Rajan, the then Joint Director of CB-CID and other high ranking Police officers who investigated the murders on 6.6.1993.
5. Exposing Halagappa in Srirangapatnam where Vibhuthi comes from the SSB photos there and Amrit flowing from the lockets and under the concrete feet of SSB. Also film the opium plantations as opium is mixed in the Amrit.
6. To meet Sandeepan Chatterjee.
7. Meeting Vijaya Kumari (her brother is my neighbour whose father was alleged to have been resurrected thrice. Also to interview her on the 1st Bed mate of Sai Baba “Krishna” whom SSB called “Radha”.
8. Interviewing Diwakar Muthu Krishna who had married N. Radhakrishna’s sister who died in mysterious circumstances and who was the person who stood near the interview room and was also a bed mate of SSB.
9. Interviewing Neptune (sexually-abused by Sai Baba Neptune Chapotin)
10. Interviewing the Editor of Vijaya Viharam Mr. Ramana Murthy
11. Interviewing the Shop who supplies Vibhuthi to SSB.
12. Interviewing the Jewellers to sell jewellery to SSB to create them (Canadians interviewed Ashwath Narayana)
13. Interviewing Balaji whose kidney was stolen from SSB superspecialty hospital (Canadians interviewed them)
14. Interviewing the wife of a police constable who gave her Kidney to be transplanted to her husband and she has also a bill for about 10,000/- for purchasing medicine for her husband after the transplant but her husband died within a week.
Though arrangement were fully made by me to meet them and I went to Bangalore I was informed that they would meet them with the help of their staff and they failed because they phoned them first for permission for the interview.
What they filmed:-
1. Interviewing the mother of a youth who was murdered in 1987 as he ran away when he was to be sexually abused and later he was murdered by burning in the College Campus in day light and the police closed the case as suicide. All the school students protested before the police station and their parents were warned of police action against them.
2. Interviewing the father of murdered E.K. Suresh Kumar (you have mentioned him as a friend of Sidharth Sharma). He came to India to file a case about the murder and has given me power of Attorney to go even to International Courts. Being afraid of problems in India he has left for Malaysia after the interview.
3. They interviewed the then Home Secretary who has noted on the file of the murders in 1997 that action has to be taken against the police officers and the culprits behind the murders was Dora then Commissioner of Police and after retirement also filed a writ petition against the Government for closing the case on a confidential Govt. Order. It was dismissed. I had only 6 days with them from 26th to 31st March and I had to leave for Punjab to attend the National Conference of the Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations.
4. Interviewing Dr. Bhatia and Joshi the HRD Union Minister.
5. They interviewed my advocate Mr. K.N. Balgopal
6. They interviewed me for a full day and went through some records and letters from Supreme Court judges and politicians who have written to me that fighting SSB is futile and to use the money for some better purpose. At any rate the documentary when it is released would be an atom bomb.
7. Whom all they interviewed directly I don’t know.
As Mr. Eamon wanted to interview the above in May I wrote to him that it will be possible only after the election as all govt. officers and politicians would be busy in the election duty and will not be in their office.
My reply was sent only on 30th night and I am waiting for Eamon’s reply. As soon as I get I shall inform you.
He was very much interested to see a photograph wherein SSB is having oral sex in 1976 with an Indian youth. I have kept it as a trumph card in my case if the Supreme Court tries to dismiss our special leave petition. I have told BBC that they will be given the first preference when we are ready to publish it. (The photo was later stolen by a major burgling of Premanand’s house) I also have informed him that in the internet there was a mention of SSB having oral sex with an overseas student and if it is true I can ask my friends to contact them so that they may fly to the country. I am wondering whether you have been able to get information of the photograph and the address. I have written to you about it and am waiting anxiously to know whether he has been traced.
BBC did not make use of me for interviewing the Indian Youths who were sexually molested. I wanted to go and meet Ravi who escaped from being murdered to get the present addresses of molested youths who would come forward to be interviewed. As at that time I was financially very bad I asked for a loan of Rs. 20000/- to go about tracing their present address. I was informed by Eamon that they would themselves investigate through their staff.
What you have said in your email of 2.5.2004 sent at 3.36 pm you are correct of what BBC is up to.
Let us wait for 17.6.2004 on which date the documentary will be telecast and watch the outcome. The first exposure of SSB’s miracle shown in Guru Busters with a dozen of VVIP politicians as witnesses produced by Indian TV Doordarshan made for SSB’s propaganda film telecast by BBC, it was me who managed to get a copy and send it to my friend in London “Robert Eagle” who made the Guru Buster film. I believe I have touched most of the points raised by you and we have to wait for the release of the BBC documentary on 17.6.2004. Then I would plan for the future.
Regarding the Affidavits from the abused students please see to the following.
1. That their statements have records to prove that at that time they were in Puttaparthy, that they were called to the interview room etc., This is very necessary. It is not enough to say that they were used for sex by SSB. It would be necessary to produce these records in the court.
Since his death, the Federation of Indian Rationalist Associations (FIRA), an apex body of more than 75 rationalist, skeptic, secularist organizations in India, has instituted an award in memory of its founder-convener, B Premanand. This award will be given to people who have given valuable contribution towards secularism, scientific temper, skepticism, rational inquiry etc in India.