An Australian, Barry Pittard is a songwriter, poet, and a retired (he says “refreshed”) college teacher. He has recently been vice president of an independent school, and shares his artistic work at festivals and at a community care facility. Prior to his university education in humanities, teaching and theatre, he worked in federal government service. He has been a community broadcaster, with his own program embracing wide interest in social justice issues and broad genres of music. He was deeply devoted to Sathya Sai Baba for twenty-five years and taught for two years at one of his leading institutions, the Sathya Sai College at Whitefield, via Bangalore, South India. He confirms that he greatly enjoyed teaching many boys and young men in their three years’ degree course. He lived around Sai Baba for several years while engaged in various voluntary social service activities, of which the college teaching was one.
Barry Pittard’s blogsite provides a wide-ranging resource – especially for those such as former devotees as well as people considering leaving the international Sathya Sai Organization, and investigators such as journalists, scholars, and religious, political, civic and other institutions this cult’s officials tend to approach. As a result of Pittard’s engagement in serious research and reporting along with a small number of others, many responsible organizations have refused to have anything to do with them, which includes all UN organizations (which were heavily targetted by the Sai movement).
Below, selected from a much larger corpus, are thematic headings and brief quotations from his articles spanning a decade and more. In turn, these pieces contain many relevant links, including to sound documentation. Pittard has remarked:-
There has been, as in the case of the Sathya Sai Organization leaders, the persistent and scandalous cover-up at all levels in the Roman Catholic Church up to and including Popes. Those Roman Catholics who for decades have been speaking out have been subjected to attacks very much like what other whistleblowers (including many former devotees of Sathya Sai Baba) have had to endure. It is terrible and wrong. It is not the Sathya Sai Organization’s good works that we contest. Many of former devotees gave hugely of their time and money in the belief that they served one who was the divine incarnate. Rather, the target of the critique is the long history of wrongdoing, and of its cover-up. And this by arguably India’s most historically powerful and influential guru, and, of course, those of his servitors who have been in-the-know, and aided and abetted him. That is to say, who have known of the Sai Baba’s serial sexual and other abuses, of the cover up of the circumstances surrounding the 1993 police killings in Sai Baba’s bedroom, and scams such as misappropriation of funds donated from around the world (e.g., the apartments and water scandals), the faking of miracles, the expert cultivation of wealthy people, the squandering of huge resources in lavish buildings, adornments, general panoply – all of this opulence in a tragically poor country – and so on.
The years since late 1999 saw the rise of that intense activism which knowledgeable former devotees tend to refer to as ‘The Exposé’. It furnished opportunity to learn much about striking satisfying balances between other life calls, such as family, profession, studies, and so on. The fact that almost all foremost activists in exposing Sai Baba are retired professionals should not surprise. That is, those of us like (the late) Glen Meloy, Robert Priddy, Brian Steel and myself. For the Sathya Sai apparatchiks have long had great influence in high places. They played dirty, as is well-known to noted scholars, journalists and other investigators who have come to know us well. Historians will never find other than that we played hard but clean. The only way to succeed against bullies like Sai Baba and his henchmen is never to give in. They expect you to do so. They think threats and underhand tactics will do the trick.
Revealing Materials On Sai Baba Of India One of Brian Steel’s research strengths is his persistent use of, and great familiarity with all the official and other public devotee documents
Cult Exposure. By Their Documents Ye Shall Know Them Falsifying his birth and school details
Sathya Sai Baba Birthday. Brian Steel Examines Birthdate Issue Sathya Sai Baba was implicated in police killings in his bedroom on June 6, 1993, along with massive cover-up by his ashram authorities and local, state and central government and police
Senior Indian Policeman (Rtd) Speaks Out About Sathya Sai Baba Murders Cover Up As the years have passed, the Government of India and the Government of Andhra Pradesh have not been able to silence all police. One who has refused to shut up is a senior, retired officer V. J. Ram, whose work as a detective won him a Presidential Medal. He has spoken out against the massive cover up of the police killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s private quarters, when Sathya Sai Baba and his brother (the late) Janaki Ramaiah (who was on the Sathya Sai Central Trust) had charge of events soon after the slayings occurred.Those who wish to know more about V.J. Ram’s work are welcome to contact me.
Ex- Sathya Sai Baba Students Could Aid Sex Abuse Change In India. But Will They?
A few years ago, I addressed an ‘open letter’ to my former Whitefield (‘Brindavan’, via Bangalore, South India) Sathya Sai College Students. Its terms can be addressed (give or take the occasional specific reference) to all alumni, past and present. There have been so many revelations of great and pervasive corruption both in Sathya Sai Baba himself and in many of his officials (especially his core servitors) that it may not go amiss to post this communication here.
Thousands of Sathya Sai education alumni face a dilemma not only in their immediate communities but wherever they may settle or travel. It is hard to imagine a major education institution in which a founder and certain teachers and Trust officials have been so deeply embroiled in scandal.
Dr Naresh Bhatia’s Testimony: Sathya Sai Baba Serial Sexual Abuser of Boys and Young Men
Over the years, many have expressed concerns about the leader of groups visiting Sai Baba, Hal Honig of Manhattan, New York, a U.S. cultural attaché in Rome in the 60′s and now one of the most senior leaders of the Sathya Sai Organization in the U.S., including being, Peter Pan-like, the head of the Sai Youth wing.
See “Will Sai Baba Keep Hal Honig Smiling?” In the late 90′s, Shirley Pike, a very qualified U.S. psychologist with years of experience sexual abuse counseling, including of many children, began to discover compelling evidence that pointed to Sai Baba’s serial sexual abuse of boys and young men. Mrs Pike was President, North Carolina Region and President of Cedar Rapids Center, Iowa. She denounced Hal Honig at a large Sai Organization gathering as “Sai Baba’s pimp.
The BBC’s ‘The Secret Swami’ A Revision
The wish expressed by former Andhra Pradesh Home Secretary V.P.B. Nair to the BBC, to see the case revisited. See transcript of Nair’s statement Nair’s statement to the BBC
Senior Indian Policeman (Rtd) Speaks Out About Sathya Sai Baba Murders Cover Up As the years have passed, the Government of India and the Government of Andhra Pradesh have not been able to silence all police. One who has refused to shut up is a senior, retired officer V. J. Ram, whose work as a detective won him a Presidential Medal. He has spoken out against the massive cover up of the police killings in Sathya Sai Baba’s private quarters, when Sathya Sai Baba and his brother (the late) Janaki Ramaiah (who was on the Sathya Sai Central Trust) had charge of events soon after the slayings occurred. One would like to see the V.J. Ram book get a decent publisher.
Any observer, other than one stricken with blind faith, can see the same technique that magicians use, the world over. The One Hand That Knows What The Other Is Doing (more than just slightly)
In the link here, watch Sai Baba’s right hand. It goes beneath the pile of letters (taken from the seated crowds) he holds in his left hand. Note the swift movement as, with his right hand, he extricates the solidified material from his left. This material is then crushed by the fingers of his right hand.
If he were naturally, and without trickery, manifesting the vibhuthi (sacred ash), there would be no need for this frequent characteristic of reaching under the letters. In short, the solid (pellet) material that is waiting to be crushed into the powder is already in his left hand. Sleight Of Hand. The Sleightness of Sathya Sai Baba (Exposing film clips)
For the clear use of a confederate, you can see Doordarshan on Indian national radio and television broadcaster – video footage showing Sathya Sai Baba’s palming of a necklace from beneath a trophy handed to him by his flunky. This film the then Indian Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao, a Sathya Sai Baba devotee, quickly moved to censor: Censored Indian National Television Film of Sai Baba Cheating